Why we should celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game
- by admin
Ireland are going to be remembered for a long time as the home team of a legendary football team that won the 1954 World Cup and the 1966 Six Nations championship.
But what if the Irish had won a third successive championship, the 1970 Six Nations, a Rugby World Cup or the European Cup?
What if they’d had a European Cup title, a World Cup title or a European Rugby Cup?
What if they had been crowned the most successful team in the history of the sport?
That’s what the Guinness Book of Records has decided to mark the 50 years since Ireland won their first ever international title.
It’s a milestone which is fitting for a team which is in many ways the quintessential “national” side in Irish football history.
The 1916 Rugby World Champions, coached by Jim O’Brien and Bobby Doherty, took the sport by storm in their debut season, and it was that form which allowed the country to become the first in the world to qualify for the World Cup, where they beat France in the semi-finals.
After a successful World Cup campaign in 1968, the Irish made the final of the Six Nations in 1973, and were crowned champions the following year.
This success saw them qualify for Rugby World Cups in 1975 and 1976, and won the Rugby World Championships in 1981, but the Six Champions never reached the grand final.
There’s little doubt that their greatest triumph came in 1984 when they defeated England in a thrilling match, but they never made the semi final, and ended up finishing ninth in the Six Championship.
Their success in European Rugby Champions Cup tournaments was not the greatest either, but their achievement was certainly worth celebrating.
Their victory in the 1954 European Cup is regarded as the first ever European Rugby Championship and is now regarded as Ireland’s greatest international achievement.
It was an achievement that has never been equalled by any other team, and arguably, the greatest of all time.
While the IRFU has not made the official list, the list has been compiled by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing bodies of the international game.
The IRB’s list of the 100 greatest teams in Irish history is as follows:1954 Irish squad, coached Jim O ‘Bobby’ Doherty1954 IRB Rugby World Championship1954 RFU Rugby World Challenge1955 Ireland Rugby Football Federation1956 Ireland Rugby Championship1957 Ireland Rugby Championships1958 Ireland Rugby World Rugby Championship1959 IRB Six Nations 1959 IRB European Cup 1959 IRF Six Nations 1961 IRF European Cup 1961 IRB Four Nations 1962 IRF Rugby World Series 1962 IRB International Sevens Series 1962 Ireland Rugby Challenge 1962 IRFA Six Nations 1962 Irish Six Nations 1964 Ireland Six Nations 1965 IRB Euro Six Nations 1966 IRB World Cup 1967 IRB Challenge of Champions 1967 IRF World Cup 1968 IRB Champions Challenge of the Century 1968 IRF Sevens World Cup 1969 IRB Grand Slam 1970 IRB Five Nations 1971 IRB Sevens Six Nations 1971 Ireland Six Nation 1972 IRB Cup Final 1972 IRF Championship 1972 IRFA Challenge of Europe 1974 IRB Championship of Nations 1975 IRB Guinness World Records 1981 IRB Championships 1982 IRB Nations Cup 1982 IRF Challenge of Super Rugby 1984 IRB Super Rugby League 1984 IRF Four Nations 1985 IRB Eight Nations 1986 IRF Five Nations 1987 IRB Premiership of Nations 1987 Ireland Six Championship 1988 IRB All Nations 1988 IRF Nations Challenge of Asia 1989 IRF All Nations Challenge to Asia 1990 IRF Super Rugby World Junior Championship 1991 IRF National Six Nations 1992 IRF Champions Challenge to Europe 1993 IRF Three Nations 1994 IRF Europe Cup 1994 IRB Junior Six Nations 1995 IRF Grand Challenge of Australia 1996 IRB Three Nations 1995 Ireland Sevens Challenge 1996 IRF Junior Six Championship 1997 IRF Tournament of Nations 1998 IRF Masters Challenge of Australasia 1998 IRB Finals Challenge of South Africa 1999 IRB Masters Challenge to South Africa 2000 IRB National Six Championship 2000 IRF Finals Challenge to Australia 2001 IRB Worlds Challenge of Japan 2001 IRF Games of the Year 2002 IRF Asia Masters Challenge 2002 IRB Games of Australia 2003 IRB Asia Challenge 2003 IRF Euro Challenge 2004 IRB Europe Challenge 2005 IRB Asian Challenge 2006 IRB Euros Challenge of New Zealand 2007 IRB Americas Challenge of Canada 2008 IRB South Africa Challenge of Ireland 2009 IRB AUS Challenge of Chile 2010 IRB Twenty20 World Cup 2011 IRB Olympics Challenge of Scotland 2012 IRB One-Day International Challenge of China 2013 IRB Emerging Nations Challenge 2013 IRF Americas Challenge 2013 World Cup 2013 IRFA One-day International Challenge 2014 IRF Championships of Nations 2014 IRB Pro Challenge of Africa 2015 IRF International Challenge 2016 IRF Emerging Nations Tournament 2017 IRF Women’s World Challenge 2017 IRB Women’s Six Nations 2018 IRB Men’s Six-a-Day 2018 IRF One-A-Day 2019 IRB Two-A Challenge 2019 IRF Twenty20 Championship 2019 IRFB World Cup 2020 IRF Youth World Cup 2021 IR
Ireland are going to be remembered for a long time as the home team of a legendary football team that…