Ireland rugby champions

Ireland are the 2015 RBS 6 Nations champions!

Ireland successfully retained the Six Nations title on a pulsating final day.

Joe Schmidt's side knew that 21-point victory would see them overtake Wales who had beaten Italy 61-20 earlier in the day. Tries from Paul O'Connell and Sean O'Brien helped Ireland to 40-10 win over Scotland and they then faced an agonising wait to see if England would claim the 26-point win they needed to take the crown.

Stuart Lancaster's men's 55-35 triumph over France at Twickenham was not enough and Ireland lifted their second Six Nations title in as many years.

Here is our round-up of an exciting last day of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations.

 

Italy 20-61 Wales

Wales laid down the first marker of the day with a stunning display at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Warren Gatland's side harboured ambitions of winning the Six Nations and blew Italy away with a dominating second half performance.

Jamie Roberts' first half try gave the Red Dragons a slender one-point lead at the break, but they tore away in the second period. A hat-trick of tries from George North gave Wales the initiative while Rhys Webb, Sam Warburton and Scott Williams put the visitors in a commanding lead and despite a try from Leonardo Sarto, Wales came away with a huge 20-61 victory.

It lay down the gauntlet for England, Ireland and France as all eyes switched to Murrayfield.

 

Scotland 10-40 Ireland

The Wales result meant that Ireland needed a 21-point victory over Scotland to overtake Gatland's men and put themselves in the driving seat to win a second consecutive title. It started well enough for the Irish as Paul O'Connell and Sean O'Brien went over for tries in the first half.

Further points were added from the boot of Jonathan Sexton with Scotland only being able to respond through a Finn Russell try. Schmidt's side built on their 10-20 half-time advantage as they grew further in confidence. Tries from Jared Payne and another for O'Brien and two successful penalties from Sexton pushed Ireland past the 21-point barrier.

A final score of 10-40, a record victory for Ireland against Scotland, meant England needed to beat France by 26 points to win the Six Nations.

 

England 55-35 France

In front of a packed Twickenham, England and France served a sensational tie to cap off the Six Nations. Chasing Ireland's points difference, England were not waiting around and scored their first try within the first minute when Ben Youngs went over; France responded through Sebastien Tillous-Borde and then took the lead after Noa Nakaitaci went over.

England regrouped and tries from Anthony Watson and Youngs combined with penalties from George Ford sent them in 27-15 ahead at the break. They continued to push forward with Ford, Billy Vunipola and Jack Nowell, twice, scoring tries. As the seconds ticked away, and with a 55-35 lead, England only needed a further try to claim the title.

However, as the whistle blew they fell short and the celebrations began at Murrayfield and Ireland lifted the Six Nations Championship trophy.

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