Ireland Claim Rugby Grand Slam

Sean KellyAnalyst IMarch 25, 2009

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 21:  Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland lifts the trophy after Ireland won the Grand Slam as Prince William looks on during the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on March 21, 2009 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A lot has changed since I last wrote on here (even though it's only been a few weeks). Sadly, I haven't really had the time to add my usual input to Bleacher Report, what with college work and being run down with the flu. However, I'm back now to have my regular moan about some aspect of World Rugby.

The best place to start is probably the Six Nations.

Well, the wait is finally over. Ireland have finally managed to get their Grand Slam they have waited and waited for. The talismanic Brian O'Driscoll's form was recaptured surely, sending him on a plane to South Africa, and with Declan Kidney playing all the right cards, Ireland were the best team and the most worthy of such a triumph.

Wales looked on course to regaining the Grand Slam until a completely mercurial French side definitely found themselves awake on the right side of the bed.

Martin Johnson's England found themselves in a penalty predicament in the first half of the tournament, somewhat buried under a pile of yellow cards preventing them from making a serious challenge against the big teams. Until a completely changed performance at Twickenham against France saw a brace of tries and Johnson's permanently-frowned face smile.

Lions places are definitely up for grabs for numerous positions. I would say position has a definite candidate with fullback and the back row seeming the most difficult to decide. As far as the Lions captaincy goes, I personally would like to see Paul O'Connell or Ryan Jones take the job, but it seems Mike Blair may be in contention (but in my opinion, it's debatable whether he's the best scrum half in Britain and Ireland).

It seems as though a lot of British players are wanting to move to France for the sole reason of more money. It's seen James Haskell, Riki Flutey, and Tom Palmer sign up to the French Revolution.

It annoys me that Rugby has adopted a similar greed to that of Football. The most disappointing exile is James Haskell, one of England's most promising players and who I wished might be a future England captain. He has chosen to learn his trade elsewhere and most likely will be overlooked for international selection.

Finally, I'm glad to see Tom Varndell has moved on to get regular first-team rugby. A talent like that must be nurtured, and hopefully having Paul Sackey there can only help him progress.