An Introduction to Retro Ireland Rugby Shirt
The Retro Ireland Rugby Shirt Polo is a Heritage Style garment, inspired by the Irish Rugby teams of the past.
Ireland won their first ever Grand Slam in 1948. They secured the Five Nations Championship in the final game on the 13th March 1948 at Ravenhill Road, Belfast with a victory over Wales.
Ireland departed Dublin on a Monday and spent two days travelling before they arrive in Paris. They enjoyed a pleasant Wednesday evening at the Folies Bergere, but the team returned to their hotel in order to meet their midnight curfew. Ireland played well against the French team defeating them by 13 points to 6. Tries came from debutants — centre Paddy Reid and flanker Jim McCarthy — and the third from goal-kicking winger Barney Mullan. Jim McCarthy added an extra dimension to the Irish Back Row. His athletic play complemented the relentless hard tackling of Bill McKay.
Somewhat surprisingly, the selectors made five more changes for the trip to Twickenham to play England. Hugh de Lacy of Harlequins was brought in at Scrum half instead of Ernie Strathdee and the Captain’s arm band was given to the 21 one year old hooker Karl Mullen.
Ireland defeated England 11-10 at Twickenham. Mullen did an exceptional job moulding his fiery forwards into a disciplined pack unit and the team scored three tries. The try scorers were Kyle, McKay and centre Des McKee. Unfortunately, Mullan only converted one. With a scoreline of 11-5 late in the game Mullan missed a relatively easy kick at goal. Further, to make matters worse English wing Dickie Guest, intercepted a loose pass from Kyle. And he ran 60 yards for his second try of the match, which was converted to cut the gap to a point. The final few minutes were full of worries. But Ireland held firm to record the victory.
Jack Kyle was in superb form as Ireland defeated Scotland by 6-0 at Lansdowne Road. Kyle and Scrum half De Lacy looked like developing a useful partnership. So, it was a shock the selectors opted to bring back Ernie Strathdee. It was felt his greater power would counter to the Welsh forwards in the deciding game.
The Welsh back division were a threat to Ireland’s Grand Slam mission with great attacking players like scrum-half and captain Haydn Tanner, centre Bleddyn Williams and wing Ken Jones. There was an electric atmosphere at the Ravenhill ground packed with 30,000 spectators. Ireland retained the tactics that had served themselves well for the competition – strong forward drives generating quick second phase ball.
Things went to plan and Ireland struck first. Kyle threw one of his trademark long passes, missing out his centres and hitting Mullan at full pace. The wing powered his way over for his third try of the season. Wales were not going to lie down and hit back with a fine solo score from Bleddyn Williams. The half time score was 3-3.
Ireland continued to attack and Prop Jack Daly managed to steal the ball from a line-out close to the Welsh try line and powered his way over to score a crucial try. The Irish held on to the 6-3 score despite the Welsh coming close on a few occasions. They achieved the nations first ever Grand Slam. Universally acclaimed in the press, fly-Half Jack Kyle’s tactical kicking was at the core of the performance.
Four of the Irish team played their last international. The lure of Rugby League was too strong for both John ‘Jack’ Daly and Paddy Reid who signed with Huddersfield. Both enjoyed distinguished 13-a-side careers and became part of the Rugby League Ireland’s Hall of Fame.
Manufactured from 100% chunky pique cotton. This Ellis Rugby Retro Ireland Rugby Shirt Polo features detailed embroidery on the vintage Irish Crest, contrast inner placket, arms and collar stand. Also included on this garment is herringbone detail on the vents and velvet tape on the neck opening. In addition subtle Ellis Rugby branding features on the collar stand and tone on tone logo on the arm.