Losers apologise for ignoring trophy

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England last night made an unreserved apology to the Princess Royal after failing to turn up to collect the Six Nations trophy from her after the Grand Slam decider at Murrayfield.

The Rugby Football Union's president, Jeff Addison, said: "We unreservedly apologise for what has obviously been a breakdown in communications to Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, the sponsors and England supporters who had travelled to the game."

Addison confirmed that the RFU were already in discussion with the sponsors, Lloyds TS, to organise a suitable date for the trophy presentation.

The Scottish Rugby Union president, Harvey Wright, added: "I am sure that at the end of a compelling and highly charged contest the England players meant no offence when they were unable to collect the trophy in the stadium. They were worthy winners of the inaugural championship and I hope they take as much pleasure from their success as all Scots derived from our Five Nations' Championship victory last season."

The RFU last night confirmed they received a briefing from the SRU last Thursday regarding trophy presentation protocol whatever the result, which was relayed to members of the England management. But after being well beaten by Scotland, England felt it was only fair that the Scots enjoyed the moment and received the Calcutta Cup in front of their home supporters.

The SRU and RFU said that they had issued the joint statement "in order to clarify some misunderstandings".