The Six Nations takes place each year with six European rugby union nations taking each other on in a round-robin style tournament.
Held every year over February and March, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy all take part in the Six Nations. Each country plays each other once and the team with the most points at the end is deemed the winner.
The host countries are alternated every year so if Ireland host France this year, France will host Ireland next year. Home advantage is huge and can make or break a Six Nations tournament.
The Six Nations dates back to 1883 when it was known as the Home Nations. It was contested between England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, with the latter being the dominant side.
In 1910 it became the Five Nations as France joined. It took until 1954 for France to finally finish top, and this was alongside England and Wales. This carried on until 1999, when Scotland won the very last Five Nations.
In 2000, it finally became the Six Nations with Italy joining the competition. It didn’t play out as they would have hoped, with Italy winning the Wooden Spoon in each of their first three years. This is an award given to a team that finishes last…
Six Nations History
The first nation to win the Six Nations was England, who held on to their crown again the following year. France then took it in 2002 and was the first side to win the Grand Slam, winning every game that year.
In terms of the most successful side in Six Nations history, it is a very close one. England is leading the way with six wins, the most recent of which came in 2017.
France and Wales take second place with five wins each. Wales last won in 2019, whilst France hasn’t finished top since 2010! Then Ireland is close behind with four wins, their last in 2018.
Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara holds the Six Nations record for the most points scored with a total of 557 points for his side. Jonny Wilkinson is the record holder for the most points scored in a single match. Against Italy in 2001, he racked up 35 points.
2019 was a brilliant year for Wales, as not only did then win the competition, but also the Grand Slam. They beat everyone in fairly convincing style and it put them in good stead for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
2020 Six Nations
Currently, the 2020 Six Nations is on hold and will hopefully be completed by the end of the year. As the table stands, England is top with 13 points and France are second on the same. England is only ahead on points scored difference.
Scotland is third with ten points and Ireland is just behind on nine points. Last year’s winners Wales are struggling in fifth place. They only have seven points, coming from one win and three losses. At the bottom, once again, is Italy with no points having lost all three games they’ve played so far.
With just one fixture left these final games are going to be huge. England will take on Italy in a game that should be fairly easy for the 2019 Rugby World Cup finalists. Given that Italy hasn’t got a single point yet it would be a huge ask for them to beat England.
France takes on Ireland, which will be a very tough game. Ireland is a great side and will put up a fight to finish better than 4th spot. A convincing win for the Irish could see them leapfrog into second place.