Six Nations Top Moments, The Inside Stories

Breaking away: Sam Warburton in action during Wales 30-3 England Rugby World

We take a look at some of the top moments in Six Nations history, with stories from inside those moments, shedding some light on what made them special. This is an advertising feature. This piece is written in Partnership with Tissot.

Six Nations Top Moments, The Inside Stories

Wales 30-3 England, Cardiff 2013

It was not meant to go like this. England were chasing a Grand Slam and Wales had only just got their title defence on track. They had a glimmer of winning the Six Nations again if they triumphed by seven points or more, but Wales were not the team being touted as potential victors as the English arrived in Wales for the decider.

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Yet, on 16 March 2013, Wales blew everyone away to take the Championship.

At the vanguard of that Welsh onslaught was Richard Hibbard, a runaway toolchest with a blond explosion of hair. “To talk about that win you’ve gotta start from where we were,” Hibbard tells Rugby World. “We were on a losing streak (a fifth loss at home in a row, a record) when we lost to Ireland in the first game. The press were writing us off, the fans weren’t happy – which is understandable, losing at home. But it got us so tight as a group. Then we got the France result. And then the Scotland result.”

Up in the air: Action from Wales v England in the 2013 Six Nations Rugby World

When it got to match day in Cardiff, the team were aware that they had a hope of Championship glory, but beating the English was all they were talking about. Little chit-chats were observed at breakfast, everyone trying to act ‘normal’. But on the way in to the stadium the noise grew.

A few things stand out in the memory bank for Hibbard. “That game was so fast. I remember looking up at the clock, thinking that it must be close to the half, it had all gone so quick. Something like 12 minutes had gone and I thought: “Oh my god, how the hell am I going to last?” But you do.


“I can remember one scrum, it went down and we got the penalty. The front-row relieved the pressure. Dan Cole was on top of me, shaking me, he was so incensed. I knew that they were worried. And I remember putting a big shot on Joe Marler. Those are the things that stay with you.”

In a second half of typically brilliant Six Nations madness, when the Welsh back-row led by Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric tormented the English and Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar kept knocking over kicks, Wales stretched their lead beyond any reasonable doubt.

On top: Dan Cole has words with Richard Hibbard Rugby World

Not for the first time, Hibbard was aware of the clock, run by Official Timekeepers Tissot, running down. What were those closing stages like? “Well I came off after 55 minutes and I headed straight down the tunnel,” Hibbard says. “I sat there and buried my head in my hands – I didn’t want to listen! I just wanted to beat them. We finished on a high and in the last 20 minutes we took control.

“I understood (how big it was) when we went to collect the trophy. The stadium was still full and when they turned the lights out, it felt like they were right on top of you.

“The stars did align that day, but nothing outside the group had ever affected us going into it. Nothing else matters as much as the people that came through it.”

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