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The Magnificent Seven: Five/Six Nations tries

BOD’s hat-trick in Paris and a cracker from Philippe Saint-Andre 21 years ago both make the cut.

YOU’VE SPENT THE week reading about squad preparations, team selections, players to watch and Ireland’s chances of Six Nations glory over the next two months.

Now it’s time to sit back and admire some of the greatest tries to grace the competition down the years…

1. Andy Hancock – England v Scotland, 1965

England were trailing by 3-0 to Scotland in injury time at Twickenham when winger Andy Hancock picked up the ball in his own 22 (00:37). Hancock skipped by a couple of early challenges before evading two more en route to an incredible 100-yard, which he finished off by scoring to draw the match level.

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2. Phil Bennett – Scotland v Wales, 1977

Deep in his own half, Wales winger Gerald Davies found himself in-field and began an attack with some superb footwork. He offloaded to No10 Phil Bennett, who received it back after two more passes to step inside and go over for a try of real beauty.

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3. Philippe Saint-Andre – England v France, 1991

English rugby fans, voting for the try of the century at Twickenham for its centenary year back in 2009, chose this example of supreme counter attacking play from France in 1991. After Simon Hogkinson missed his penalty attempt, Serge Blanco decided to run it and fed Philippe Sella. He found Didier Camberabero on the flank, who executed a perfect chip and catch before kicking into the path of Philippe Saint-Andre.

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4. Brian O’Driscoll – France v Ireland, 2000

A fresh-faced 21-year-old Brian O’Driscoll single-handedly blew France away as Ireland claimed their first victory in Paris for 28 years. The young centre scored an incredible hat-trick of tries on the day to help them record a 27-25 win over Les Bleus. All three were excellent in their own right, and were clear evidence that O’Driscoll was going to be a hugely influential player in the future, but the anticipation and acceleration shown in the last one makes it the pick of the lot .

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5. Mauro Bergamasco – Scotland v Italy, 2001

Flanker Mauro Bergamasco showed all the attributes of a winger to race beyond two Scottish opponents and score at Murrayfield in 2001. It was only the Italian’s second year in the new Six Nations and that try was the highlight as they lost the game 23-19 and wound up with the Wooden Spoon. Skip to 1:37 to see it.

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6. Ben Cohen – England v Ireland, 2002

A terrific team try from England as they thumped Ireland 45-11 at Twickenham. A move involving Kyran Bracken, Joe Worsley, Jonny Wilkinson, Will Greenwood, Jason Robinson, Austin Healy, Mike Tindall and Richard Hill ended with the ball in the hands of Ben Cohen, who had the simplest of tasks.

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7.  Jamie Heaslip – Ireland v France, 2009

Ireland’s won their first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009 and got off to the perfect start with a 30-21 win over the French at Croker. Jamie Heaslip, Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy all recorded tries but the build-up play and the execution of Heaslip’s storming run at the beginning of this clip is a joy to watch. Tommy Bowe to win the championship against Wales is just as special. Enjoy.

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Ben Blake

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