Grand Slam: The Welsh Inbetweeners XV

Jonathan Davies and Ieuan Evans get to grips with England at the 1987 World Cup

As Welsh fans celebrated their third Grand Slam in eight seasons amid memorable scenes in Cardiff, it would have been easy for them to forget the not-so-distant bad old days.

Until the first of those recent successes, under Mike Ruddock in 2005, Wales had not won the European accolade since the Golden Era that ran from the Triple Crown of 1969 through to the 1978 Slam and the Triple Crown that followed 12 months later.

In between there were only two old-style Five Nations to savour - the 1988 Triple Crown that preceded the 10-9 loss to France in the tournament's final game and the 1994 Championship that ended in a deflating 15-8 defeat against England at Twickenham.

When Wales' 2005 captains Gareth Thomas (who was injured during the tournament) and Michael Owen held the silverware aloft, some of t he greatest players in the nation's history were left to ponder never being able to savour such a moment.

But just to prove that even during the lean years Wales could boast talent to equal any generation, here is a Welsh Grand Slam Inbetweeners XV, including flanker Clive Burgess who made his debut in 1977, but did not play in the slam that followed a year later, plus some other strong candidates for inclusion:

Scott Quinnell
Scott Quinnell heads for the line against France in 1994

Full-back: Paul Thorburn (36 caps, 1985-1990); honourable mention - Tony Clement, Gwyn Evans, Howell Davies.

Right wing: Ieuan Evans (capt; 72 caps, 1987-1998 ); honourable mention - Glenn Webbe.

Outside centre: Allan Bateman (35 caps, 1990-2001; honourable mention - John Devereux.

Inside centre: Scott Gibbs (53 caps, 1991-2001); honourable mention - Mark Ring.

Left wing: Adrian Hadley (27 caps, 1983-1988); honourable mention - Arthur Emyr, Nigel Walker.

Fly-half: Jonathan Davies (32 caps, 1985-1997); honourable mention - Neil Jenkins, Gareth Davies, Malcolm Dacey.

Scrum-half: Terry Holmes (25 caps, 1978-1985); honourable mention - Robert Howley, Robert Jones, Brynmor Williams.

Loose-head prop: Ian Stephens (13 caps, 1981-1986); honourable mention - Clive Williams, Peter Rogers.

Hooker: Garin Jenkins (58 caps, 1991-2002); honourable mention - Ian Watkins, Alan Phillips, Billy James, Mike Watkins.

Tight-head prop: Stuart Evans (9 caps, 1985-1987); honourable mention - Dai Young.

Lock: Craig Quinnell (32 caps, 1995-2002); honourable mention - Phil Davies, John Perkins.

Lock: Robert Norster (34 caps, 1982-1989); honourable mention - Chris Wyatt, Gareth Llewellyn, Richard Moriarty.

Blindside flanker: Clive Burgess (9 caps, 1977-1982); honourable mention - Paul Moriarty, Rowland Phillips, Colin Charvis.

Number eight: Scott Quinnell (52 caps, 1993-2008); honourable mention - Phil Davies, Richard Moriarty, Mark Jones.

Openside flanker: Paul Ringer (8 caps, 1978-1980); honourable mention - Richard Webster, Gwyn Jones, Dai Pickering.

And one last thought...

A Welsh Inbetweeners and Grand Slam 2012 combined XV:

Leigh Halfpenny; Ieuan Evans (capt), Allan Bateman, Scott Gibbs, George North; Jonathan Davies, Terry Holmes; Gethin Jenkins, Garin Jenkins, Stuart Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton, Scott Quinnell.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Ryan Jones, Toby Faletau, Robert Howley, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Roberts.

Wales's Alex Cuthbert

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