Picture of the day – May 6

PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

Phil Bennett was only a year away from retirement when he skippered Wales to a triple crown in the 1977 Five Nations Championship.

Bennett made his Wales debut against France in 1969 aged 20 and played at full-back and centre before settling at fly-half and succeeding legendary Wales No10 Barry John.

Bennett took over as Wales captain after an injury to Mervyn Davies and led Wales to a 25-9 win over Ireland in their 1977 Five Nations Championship opener.

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A 16-9 defeat against eventual title winners France in Paris was followed by a 14-9 win over England in Cardiff after a rousing pre-match team talk. Bennett then weighed in a with a try as Wales won 18-9 against Scotland at Murrayfield to complete the triple crown.

Bennett went on to skipper the British Lions on their 1977 tour of New Zealand and was named Player of the Year by Rugby World magazine.

Bennett, who scored 103 points for the Lions on their 1974 tour of South Africa, won 29 Wales caps and signed off his international career with a two-try performance in a 16-7 win over France in Cardiff that secured a third Wales Grand Slam of the 1970s.

He also paved the way for Gareth Edwards’  spectacular try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in January 1973, by sidestepping his way out of trouble before passing to JPR Williams and launching a length-of-the-field move that ended with Edwards diving over in the corner.

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