February 22 down the years
The coach who refused to 'bugger off'
England centre Will Greenwood crosses for the crucial try in a 26-9 win over Wales © Getty Images
England secured their fourth successive Cardiff victory with a 26-9 victory over Wales. Tries from Will Greenwood and Joe Worsley and 16 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson saw Clive Woodward's side complete the second leg of what would be Grand Slam season. Greenwood's try saw him equal the record of six tries in this fixture held by Rory Underwood and Gerald Davies - a mark he broke with a score against the Welsh during the Rugby World Cup later in the year. Statistically, the losing margin of 17 points was Wales's best performance against England in Cardiff since the game went professional in 1995 and gave coach Steve Hansen the courage to fire back at the critical Welsh media. "I came here knowing this country needed help. If I chuck my toys out of the cot and bugger off, I won't have achieved what I wanted to achieve."
The Crusaders exacted revenge for their Super 14 semi-final defeat the previous season with a 54-19 thumping of the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The visitors racked up seven tries with Stephen Brett, Andrew Ellis, Richie McCaw, Kade Poki, Nasi Mano, Dan Carter and Leon MacDonald all dotting down for tries. Carter also weighed in with five conversions and three penalties as the Crusaders cemented their place at the top of the table with their second successive Super 14 victory.
JPR Williams was awarded £20,000 in damages after bringing a claim for libel against the Daily Telegraph after the newspaper claimed he had infringed his amateur status by accepting £35,000 for writing his autobiography. Two months he was awarded the same in a separate case against the Sun who had repeated the allegation. It emerged in court that Williams donated the proceeds from the book to a clinic he had set up under a charitable trust.
Hooker Shane Byrne and captain Brian O'Driscoll, returning after an injury had compelled him to miss the opening weekend of the Six Nations, inspired Ireland to a 36-15 win against Wales. Both men grabbed two tries with No.8 Anthony Foley and fly-half Ronan O'Gara also crossing for scores in the Lansdowne Road triumph.
The International Rugby Board announced that their world rankings would be used for the first time to seed teams at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. The rankings system, which was introduced in 2003, would be used for the pool allocation draw, held in December that year, to seed the 12 automatic qualifiers from last year's showpiece event in France. The new system replaced the previous seeding process, which was determined by team's performances at past World Cups.
Bath maintained their challenge for the Courage league title with an 18-13 away win at arch-rivals Bristol. Jerry Guscott and Nigel Redman scored the tries and Jon Callard kicked the goals for the team that would finish as runners-up to Wasps.
Budge Rogers won his 32nd cap for England to overtake the national record set by Wavell Wakefield 42 years earlier. The Bedford flanker went on to become the first English player to be honoured by the Queen when he was awarded an OBE in 1969. He later served as chairman of England's selectors, England team manager and RFU president.
A first-half hat-trick of tries by wing William Stewart launched Scotland on their way to a 29-14 Five Nations win in a fast, open game against Ireland at Inverleith in Edinburgh.
In a bid to improve his fitness ahead of the Calcutta Cup, England prop Fran Cotton, who had not played for six weeks, turned out for Madeley College against Lancaster Polytechnic. "I'm totally fit but I am desperate to play before the international," he said. Eddie Robinson, master in charge of rugby at Madeley, said before the game: "We have quite a few players missing as they are in the Staffordshire Under-23 squad arid we couldn't ask for a better replacement."
Frost and snow wreak havoc with the first-class fixture list. England's Five Nations match with France was a casualty, but at Murrayfield Ireland beat Scotland 3-0 thanks to a 64th minute try by Barney Mullan.