The Rundown

Top 10 England v Wales encounters

The Rundown

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England face Wales in a crucial Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley tonight.

And to get you in the mood, we look back at the top 10 greatest England v Wales sporting encounters of all time.

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Rugby: England 31-32 Wales in 1999

Wales
suffered the ignominy of having to host England in London, at Wembley, since
the Millennium Stadium was not yet complete. And it looked like becoming a
doubly sour day as the 'visitors' made it deep into injury time leading by six
points, on their way to a Grand Slam. Welsh centre Scott Gibbs (pictured top right) had other ideas,
however, breaking the line thanks to a stunning pop-up pass, evading four
tackles and scoring more or less under the posts. Neil Jenkins converted,
England lost their Grand Slam, and Scotland were crowned Five Nations champions
for the final time.

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Football: Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal in the FA Cup,
1992

Wrexham
were the bottom club in the football league and given no chance whatsoever as
they turned up to play George Graham's Arsenal, the reigning top flight
champions who were sitting second in the First Division. But the fourth-tier
side came from 1-0 down with eight minutes left to beat the Gunners 2-1 and record
one of the great FA Cup giant-killing results of all time.

Football: England 5-1 Wales, 1966

It was bad
enough for Welshman that their neighbours had won the World Cup just a few
months beforehand, but when England destroyed the Welsh at Wembley in November
1966 it rubbed further salt into the wound.

Football: England 1-1 Wales, 1973

Just seven
years after that mauling at Wembley, John Toshack's goal at the same venue
helped Wales to a 1-1 draw in their World Cup qualifier that felt like a win,
and left England needing a victory against Poland to make it to football's
biggest tournament. England, famously, failed in their task, leaving the 1966
World Cup winners and 1970 semi-finalists to sit at home wondering what went
wrong.

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Boxing: Wales's Joe Calzaghe v England's Chris
Eubank, 1997

Hot
favourite Eubank was expected to beat the young pretender to his super
middleweight crown, but instead ended up on the wrong side of the judges'
decision after a scintillating bout in Manchester. Calzaghe knocked Eubank down
in the opening moments to set the scene for a classic.

"I
came out of the corner for round one smiling. I was moving around and sizing up
the terrain," Eubanks said later, "When 'Boom!' Calzaghe hit me with
a huge shot that literally came out of nowhere and knocked me down. A first-round
knock-down had never happened to me in my entire career."

Calzaghe's
astonishing opening assault was designed to win the bout early on - but while the
tactic almost backfired, he battled through to win on points.

"I was
knackered after three or four rounds when I hadn't stopped him," said
Calzaghe. "I'd never gone 12 rounds in my life. I hope I never have to go
through that sort of pain again. My body just wasn't used to it."

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Football: Wales 4-1 England, 1980

Wales's
first home victory over England in 25 years came in Wrexham, at the ground
where 11 years later Wrexham would stun Arsenal. Paul Mariner's opener put
England ahead, but Mickey Thomas (pictured, who would score for Wrexham v Arsenal in
1991), Ian Walsh, Leighton James and Phil Thompson's own goal gave Wales their
best ever win over their neighbours.

Snooker: Steve Davis 18-11 Terry Griffiths,
World Championship final 1988

Terry Griffiths
amazing performance nearly a decade after he first won the world title took the
world of snooker by storm, but there was to be no fairytale ending for the
Welshman. Steve Davis was clinical in the final, destroying the underdog and
crowd favourite 18-11. To win the fifth of his six titles. Wales would have to
wait another 12 years for a snooker world champion.

Football: England 0-1 Wales, 1977

The only
ever Welsh victory against England at Wembley came in the Home Internationals
in 1977. Wales, full of confidence after making the quarter-finals of the
previous year's European Championships, won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Leighton
James.

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Athletics: Welshman Colin Jackson v Englishman Tony
Jarrett

 Two of Britain's
true world-class athletes had the misfortune to come through in the 110m
hurdles at the exact same time as each other in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
At least, it was a misfortune for Jarrett if not for Jackson, who beat him
eight times in national championships, and won two world championships while Jarrett
ended up with a drawer full of silver medals.

Jarrett's lone gold at a major
championships came at the 1998 Commonwealth Games - but even then Jackson
managed to tarnish Jarrett's achievement. The Welshman was absent after
accepting a huge appearance fee to run at an event in Tokyo rather than go to
the Games in Manchester.

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Rugby: England 28-17 Wales, 2003

Pre-tournament
favourites England had struggled to get through their group matches at the
Rugby World Cup in Australia, and when the Welsh went 10-3 ahead at half-time a
monumental victory seemed on the cards. But Mike Catt came on at half-time to
settle England, who tore their opponents to shreds in the second half - a
display which helped give them the momentum to go on and win the tournament.

 

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