NZ Rugby World



In 2001, the Six Nations was halfway through, when an outbreak of a disease called Foot and Mouth hit the UK.

This is a disease that mostly a ects sheep and livestock and is highly contagious and deadly to cattle.

The outbreak meant livestock numbers were plummeting, as more than six million sheep and cattle were killed before the epidemic was halted.

Because the disease can spread so easily, travel between the UK and Ireland was halted during the epidemic and hence the Six Nations had to be put on hold.

Ireland had won both their opening

Six Nations games in February and were on a roll, but their government decided it couldn't risk playing their remaining games in case that resulted in the disease being spread from the UK.

So it was decided that the games would be postponed for six months and the rest of the tournament would be played in the Autumn.

When it resumed, Ireland were thumped by Scotland and lost their chance to make history. They did go on to beat England but it wasn't enough to stop the English from being crowned champions.

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