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The BBC's Neil Bennett
"England have apologised to Princess"
 real 28k

Sunday, 2 April, 2000, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
England sorry for trophy 'mix-up'
Cup
A battle-scarred Andy Nicol collects the Calcutta Cup
Six Nations champions England have made an official apology to the Princess Royal, following their defeat against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Six Nations Championship
England, who saw their Grand Slam hopes dashed in an epic battle that finished 19-13, should have collected the Six Nations trophy after the game.

Instead, however, they left the pitch and failed to collect their prize.

I am sure the England players meant no offence

SRU president Harvey Wright
Irrespective of the game's outcome England were assured of being crowned inaugural Six Nations champions - courtesy of a Welsh victory in Dublin on Saturday.

The Princess Royal handed over the Calcutta Cup to victorious Scottish skipper Andy Nicol but the Six Nations trophy remained un-presented.

The incident sparked talks between representatives from the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and Rugby Football Union (RFU).
dawson
England captain Matt Dawson congratulates Scotland on their win
RFU president Jeff Addison said: "We unreservedly apologise for what has obviously been a breakdown in communications to Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, the sponsors and England supporters who had travelled to the game."

Addison confirmed the RFU were already in discussion with sponsors Lloyds TSB to organise a suitable date for the trophy presentation.

SRU president Harvey Wright added: "I am sure that at the end of a compelling and highly-charged contest the England players meant no offence when they were unable to collect the trophy in the stadium.

"They were worthy winners of the inaugural championship and I hope they take as much pleasure from their success as all Scots derived from our Five Nations Championship victory last season."

An alternative was offered for the trophy to be presented at the post-match function - it turned out not to be possible.

Joint SRU/RFU statement
The RFU confirmed they received a briefing from the SRU last Thursday regarding trophy presentation protocol, which was relayed to members of the England management.

But after being well beaten by Scotland, England felt it was only fair the Scots enjoyed the moment and received the Calcutta Cup in front of their home supporters.

"On returning to their dressing room the England party were informed by the SRU that the trophy was available for presentation in the stadium," a joint statement read.

"An alternative was offered for the trophy to be presented at the post-match function.

"The England management thanked the SRU for the offer and, with many of the players already in the process of changing, decided to take up the latter option. Subsequently, however, this proved not to be possible."

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