20 Apr 2012

Wales grand slam success not good for Popes

2:04 pm on 20 April 2012

An urban legend that says a pope dies whenever Wales wins Europe's rugby crown is gaining statistical ground, says a letter in the British Medical Journal.

In 2008, two Welsh doctors dug into the history books and discovered that of eight Catholic Popes who'd died since 1883, five had died in a year when Wales won the grand slam.

Edward Snelson, a paediatrician at the Sheffield Children's Hospital says that the research should include Coptic popes, with the death of Shenouda III, on the very day that Wales won the grand slam.

His predecssor Cyril VI, died in 1971, the same month that Wales won the grand slam again.