6 Nations Rugby - What's it all about anyway?

The 6 Nations Rugby, which sees teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales battle it out on the pitch, dates back to 1883, when the four Home Nation countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, battled to be crowned champions of the Home Nations Championship. France joined in 1910 and the competition became known as the Five Nations Championship, and then as the 6 Nations Championship when Italy joined in 2000.

Since its conception, the Championship has taken place annually in February, March and sometimes April, and the format has remained essentially the same: each team plays every other team once, with home field advantage alternating from one year to the next. Two points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss and victory in every game results in what is called a “Grand Slam”, for which England hold the record with a total number of 12, followed by Wales with 11, France with nine, Scotland with three and Ireland with two.

In the early years, the winning team was awarded with mere respect and a title, but in 2006 the Royal Bank of Scotland, who sponsor the event, commissioned a trophy, which has been awarded to the winning team since. Traditionally, the team that comes last in the tournament is awarded with a figurative Wooden Spoon. There are also several smaller competitions, which take place under the umbrella of the 6 Nations Championship, including the Calcutta Cup between England and Scotland, the Millennium Trophy, between England and Ireland, and the Centenary Quaich between Ireland and Scotland. There is also the “Triple Crown” title, which is awarded if a team from the Home Nations beats each of the other three Home Nations. Not missing out on the silverware, in 2007 France and Italy began competing for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy.

Since the start of the 6 Nations in 2000, France have taken the cup 5 times, followed by England and Wales, who have won 4 times each, and then Ireland, with 2 wins (check out our league table, below). Sadly, Scotland and Italy have yet to win a 6 Nations Championship but you never know – 2015 could be their year!
 

Year

Championship winner

2014

Ireland

2013

Wales

2012

Wales

2011

England

2010

France

2009

Ireland

2008

Wales

2007

France

2006

France

2005

Wales

2004

France

2003

England

2002

France

2001

England

2000

England


The RBS 6 Nations is one of the most important international rugby tournaments and the atmosphere is always thrillingly competitive. If you’re a rugby fan, or you simply enjoy the exciting atmosphere of sports events, it really is unmissable!

Reserve your place at the heart of the action in Rome: we have packages available to see Italy v Wales, Italy v Ireland and Italy v France.

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