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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 15:00 GMT
Strictly Six Nations: Wales v England
The opening day of this year's RBS Six Nations brings one of the tournament's classic confrontations.

England endured a barren 28 years in Cardiff until 1991, when as Jeremy Guscott recalls here, Will Carling's team broke the hoodoo.

They went on to win the Grand Slam that year and again in 1992, returning to Cardiff in 1993 confident of victory.

But, as Wales captain Ieuan Evans recalls further on, the form book was ripped up in spectacular style.

Jeremy Guscott (England)

For me Wales were the team I loved watching when I was a kid.

I grew up playing against the Welsh club sides for Bath and to begin with we got a bit of a pasting.

But we had turned the tables by that stage so I wasn't intimidated about going to play at the old Arms Park.

Jeremy Guscott shadows Mark Ring
Guscott goes in search of the ball
England hadn't won there for such a long time but I didn't feel that weight of expectation that perhaps other players had felt in the past.

I have always enjoyed playing against Wales, although this one was a pretty boring match and I didn't see any of the ball.

Mike Teague scored a try and Simon Hodgkinson kicked the rest of our points.

Poor old Simon - he'd broken a record at the time for kicking seven penalties in the match.

But our captain Will Carling had fallen out with someone in the media before the game and there was a media blackout afterwards, so he didn't get to tell anyone about it.

But as always in those days, there were big celebrations afterwards - we were all out on the lash big style.

Ieuan Evans (Wales)

Sometimes you get a certain atmosphere with games and the anticipation and excitement that year was electrifying.

There was a bit more edge to it than usual and when we went onto the field there was a great feeling around the ground, as if something special was afoot.

It was a formidable England side and we were hugely outgunned, wondering how we were going to get the ball.

England lock Martin Bayfield is tackled by Wales flanker Emyr Lewis (right) in 1993
Wales defended heroically against English giants like Martin Bayfield
But sometimes in the face of adversity, character shines through and that was what is was all about that day - pure character and pure adrenaline, all hands to the pump.

We were really up against it and took a constant pounding. But our defence was heroic - we hit everything in a white jersey, with or without the ball - the ball was an irrelevance!

People like Scott Gibbs and Richard Webster put themselves about as you'd expect and Stuart Davies made tackle after tackle - the ferocity was incredible.

I think Stuart won the turnover which eventually released Emyr Lewis, who hoofed the ball upfield for my try.

As a wing you often chase forlornly after kicks. I was just about to turn round and ask Emyr why he didn't pass to me.

I barely touched the ball all day but as I galloped up field I looked up and there was no-one else there.

I thought, 'I've got a chance here'. Fortunately I managed to get there just before Rory Underwood and kick it on, and the roar of the crowd took me the rest of the way.

Ieuan Evans scores a try for Wales against England in 1995
Evans made a habit of scoring against England
It was an awfully long way but it was only mid-way through the first half and at the time I don't think anyone thought it was going to be the winning score.

It was 10-9 at half-time and England kept pounding away for the whole of the second half but our defence held out.

We were all great mates and sometimes you rely on that team spirit when other things are not going your way.

I never mentioned the incident to Rory afterwards, and I have never brought it up in conversation since. I wouldn't dream of doing so, although other people have in our presence.

Everyone makes errors. It is part of playing international sport that you are lauded one minute and castigated the next.

Winning the Championship the following year was a very proud achievement but as captain that day in Cardiff, I knew we would never take a backward step.

  • Jeremy Guscott and Ieuan Evans were talking to Bryn Palmer


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