The team heading to Dublin seeking consecutive grand slams for the first time in 25 years ‘could become the best England side ever’, believes Peter Winterbottom
Back-to-back grand slams take some winning. The last time England managed the feat was in 1992, the heyday of Will Carling, Peter Winterbottom, Dean Richards, Jeremy Guscott, Rory Underwood et al, which shows the exalted company Dylan Hartley’s team are trying to join. If they do defeat Ireland on Saturday to complete a second successive full house, their achievement will stand history’s definitive test.
Even a quarter of a century later, the class of ’92 can still recall every little detail of their fabled campaign. They had great players but, then as now, were bruised by previous failure, most recently their 1991 World Cup final defeat to Australia. Their newly appointed coach, Dick Best, was certainly feeling the pressure before the championship. “I thought: Jesus, the only difference from last year is me,” Best says. “If we don’t win another grand slam, guess who they’ll point the finger at?”
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