March 28 down the years
Mounted police watch England's Grand Slam success
France on the attack but it was England who won and so secured the Grand Slam on this day in 1921 ©

England won the Grand Slam by defeating France 10-6 in a tight Easter Monday match in Paris. A crowd of 25,000 attended but hundreds more pushed down barricades to gain entry and it needed mounted police around the pitch perimeter to enable play to take place. Before the start Marshal Foch unveiled a memorial to the French internationals who fell in the War. England were on top for much of the game with tries from lock Arthur Blakiston and the supreme winger Cyril Lowe putting them 10-3 up at the break. The only score of the second half was a French penalty two minutes from time.

Welsh captain Mervyn Davies suffered a brain haemorrhage during the Swansea-Pontypool Welsh Cup semi-final at Cardiff. To the relief of all he later recovered, but his rugby career was brought to a premature finish. He had collapsed during a game on another occasion, four years earlier, and had been wrongly diagnosed with meningitis. He played his final international against France in March 1976 in a career which took in 38 Wales caps and two victorious British and Irish Lions tours, to New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974.

The Stade Colombes hosted Wales' 6-3 victory over France on the final day of the Five Nations Championship. Two tries from Gareth Griffiths were enough to help Wales to victory, but they finished second in the table to England after an 8-3 loss to the men in white at the National Stadium in Cardiff.

Ireland travelled to face France at the Parc des Princes, picking up an 8-3 win thanks to tries from forward Tom Smyth and wing Charles Thompson, who was playing his final Test match. France No.8 Pierre Guillemin picked up his side's only score. The defeat was France's fourth of the Five Nations, condemning them to a whitewash and the Wooden Spoon.

Former Saracens lock John Howe, 29, collapsed and died playing for West Hartlepool against Morley. Howe, who had a history of epilepsy and also suffered from a heart condition, was treated on the pitch but was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. He had complained of dizzy spells while at Saracens and been advised to rest for six months, but he returned to the north and resumed playing.

Italy were put to the sword by a French XV in Rovigo, the French running in nine tries on their way to a 39-6 win. Home fans at the Stadio Comunale Mario Battaglini had only a try from debutant Paolo Rosi to cheer.

Cardiff's Robin Williams gave a master-class in goal-kicking using both feet. He kicked four penalties, two conversions and a left-footed dropped goal from the right touchline but was unable to stop his side losing 30-28 to the Barbarians, who prevailed thanks to an equally distinguished display of goal-kicking by their full-back, Tony Jorden.

Spain defeated Portugal 16-9 at the Campo Universitaria in Madrid. The Portuguese fielded no less than 13 debutants for the game. Within four months Spain had other more pressing matters to worry about as it was plunged into a brutal civil war.


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