Here are your rugby headlines for Sunday March 19
Wales are vowing to get over their Six Nations woe by turning the rugby world on its head at the World Cup this autumn.
Warren Gatland's men finished a hugely disappointing second from last during the returning coach's first tournament back in charge, with just a solitary victory over Italy to their name.
A measure of how much ground Gatland has to make up is demonstrated by the 21 point gap between Wales in fifth and Grand Slam winners and table toppers Ireland.
But Wales know they are in the easier half of the draw when the global showpiece kicks off in France this autumn and, according to skipper Ken Owens, they are 'ready to raise eyebrows'.
"One thing we do as Welsh people is work very hard and the more time we spend together, the better we get," vowed Owens.
"We'll have some tough training camps over the coming months which will be enjoyable.
"We will raise some eyebrows at the World Cup."
Wales are drawn in a pool with Australia, Fiji Georgia and Portugal, with England also in their half of a lopsided draw.
By contrast Six Nations winners and world number one ranked side Ireland have reigning holders South Africa and Scotland in a tough looking group.
Even coming through that, the Irish would meet one of hosts France or southern hemisphere giants New Zealand in the last eight.
Indeed, the make up of the draw means that three of the world's five top ranked sides cannot even make it to the semi-finals.
That opens up a real opportunity for Wales, who will battle with England, Australia and Argentina for a place in the semi-finals and then the final itself.
Wales boss Warren Gatland has backed his captain's assertion about the team firing in France this autumn.
"We will surprise some teams in the World Cup by how good we will be and how much we will improve having that time together to prepare," warned Gatland.
"We are taking steps in the right direction during this campaign but we have a lot of work to do.
"We have developed some youngsters who will learn from these experiences and we will review stuff and what are the things we need to keep working on."
The fans' Wales Six Nations verdict: Have your say
He insisted places will be up for grab in his World Cup team, warning the men who have started in the Six Nations: "There will no doubt be some bolters who put up their hand with the way they potentially train in the camps.
"You go in with an open mind and not wanting to make those decisions too early."
Andy Farrell dubbed Johnny Sexton as the greatest player in Ireland's history as the pair celebrated a stunning Grand Slam triumph following a tense 29-16 bonus-point victory over 14-man England.
Captain Sexton helped his country clinch a first championship clean sweep in Dublin - and fourth in total - on the occasion of his final outing in the tournament to reignite the St Patrick's weekend party.
The 37-year-old, who is due to retire following the World Cup, kicked nine points to move clear of Ronan O'Gara as the Six Nations' leading scorer with a total of 566.
Head coach Farrell was "immensely proud" of the achievement of his entire squad and singled out influential skipper Sexton for special words.
"He's been saying this is what dreams are made of," said Farrell. "It doesn't come around that often.
"And it's unbelievably fitting that in my opinion the best player to play for Ireland is able to sign off on a Grand Slam, on St Patrick's Day, in front of his own crowd.
"There are a lot of stars that have aligned over the course of the last eight weeks and come together."
Ireland's previous Grand Slams - in 1948, 2009 and 2018 - had been clinched in Belfast, Cardiff and London respectively.
"We felt a duty that we couldn't let people down and I would say there's a sense of relief to get the job done but immensely proud," continued Farrell.
"Grand Slams are not just won on nights like this, they're won over the time we've been together. We've been building to this and I'm just glad we've got the job done."
England captain Owen Farrell was "surprised" by the decision to dismiss Freddie Steward, which helped turn the game Ireland's way.
Farrell said: "I thought the game was a brilliant Test match. I thought the way we reacted after we got that red card was very good.
"I thought we fought for each other and unfortunately we didn't get on the right side of the result, which is very disappointing in an England shirt.
"But I thought the reaction to things that didn't go our way - the card being one of them - especially after last week was brilliant."
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