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Wales’ Biggest Opening Six Nations Victories

Wales have an impressive record of getting their Six Nations campaigns – or Five Nations as it used to be until 2000 – off to a flying start with some thumping victories over the years.

Often, the big victories have set them up for Championship-winning campaigns as in 1975, 1976 and 1971.

But sometimes the wins have not been followed up with quite the same success, as in 2020 when a healthy 42-0 win over Italy was followed by four straight defeats.

Here are five of the biggest opening Six Nations and Five Nations victories:

2020 – Wales 42, Italy 0

This was the opening round where Wales were defending their Six Nations Grand Slam title won under coach Warren Gatland before he returned to New Zealand.

It was an encouraging start as Josh Adams scored a hat-trick of tries for Wales, with Nick Tompkins and George North also going over to make it a five-try romp.

But Wayne Pivac could not sustain the momentum in his first tournament as Wales coach and the team lost their next games against Ireland, France, England and Scotland to finish fifth in the table.

1910 – Wales 49, France 14

This was the very first match of the first Five Nations after France had come into the tournament to join the home unions of Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Not that Wales showed the French any mercy on a cold, January day at St. Helen’s in Swansea as they gave them a 10-try hammering.

Wales were on an 11-match winning streak when they went to Twickenham – newly built at a cost of £5,573 – but they lost 11-6 and the English took the title.

2018 – Wales 34, Scotland 7

This was another great start to a tournament for Wales as they ran in four tries to begin with a bonus point victory over the Scots.

Gareth Davies and Leigh Halfpenny crossed for tries in the first half, before Halfpenny scored a second after the break with Steff Evans diving over for a fourth.

But Wales lost their next game, 12-6, to England before also being beaten by Ireland who went on to win the title and Grand Slam.

2017 – Italy 7, Wales 33

The scoreline makes it sound easy, but Wales struggled in this opener in Rome for almost an hour.

Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams and George North eventually scored the tries, and Leigh Halfpenny kicked all three conversions along with four penalties.

It was a Lions tour year and with Warren Gatland handing over the coaching duties to Rob Howley, Wales slumped to fifth place in the final table with just two wins – over Italy and Ireland.

1905 – Wales 25, England 0

For decades this starting fixture to the old four-team, Home Unions tournament stood as Wales’ record victory over England.

It was during the first golden age of Welsh rugby, the same year that Wales went on to famously beat the first touring New Zealand All Blacks team, 3-0.

The England drubbing was followed by victories over Scotland and Ireland as Wales won the title and Triple Crown.

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