18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
On March 21st in the Millennium Stadium, Ireland beat Wales by two points to win the RBS 6 Nations Championship, the Triple Crown and the Grand Slam. As a result, the RBS 6 Nations Championship Trophy and Triple Crown toured the four provinces of Ireland throughout 2009, with the destinations and visits detailed on the Grand Slam Map above. The Grand Slam Trophy Tour was co-ordinated through the four provincial branches, taking in Rugby Clubs, Schools and various other venues. The trophies were on view to all supporters of Irish Rugby.
- The Grand Slam Game on IrishRugby TV
- In Pics: Ireland's Grand Slam Week
- 'We Had Dreams and Songs To Sing': A Supporter's Diary of the Grand Slam Day
- Grand Slam Merchandise in the Irish Rugby Shop
The Trophy was designed by James Brent-Ward, Designer and Managing Director of the London Silversmiths William Comyns who produced it. It was conceived in a classical style but not to a traditional design. It was designed to be substantial and have a distinctive shape.
The Trophy has fifteen sides - one for each player. It has three handles, one for each official - the referee and the two touch judges. The handles are large enough to make lifting the Trophy easy. The capacity of the Trophy is exactly five bottles of Champagne, one for each of the original five competing nations.
It has the emblem of each nation around the base. These are fixed in such a way that they can be moved to accommodate the addition of new emblems when new nations join, as happened when Italy joined in the year 2000. The handle, or finial, on the lid is interchangeable and represents the current champions. After winning the 2009 Championship the finial on the Trophy became the one decorated with the Irish shamrock. The finials of the five challenging teams are kept in a hidden drawer inside the plinth throughout the Championship.
The construction of the Trophy is substantial. It is designed so that in the words of its designer: 'If anyone tries to drop kick it up Princes Street it will break their toes rather than damage the Trophy.'
The Trophy was presented to the Five Nations Committee on 6 March 1993: