Six Nations, also known as the RBS 6 Nations, is the name for what is considered amongst the oldest rugby union tournaments in the world. Dating back to 1883, the competition now comprises six European teams, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Wales and France contend annually for the title of European Champions.
The Home Nations Championship was held in 1883-1909, then again between 1932-39 and featured the ‘Home Nations’ of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. France joined between 1910-1931 and 1947-1999 and the tournament was known as the Five Nations.
Each team plays the opposing team once and gain 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw. There are no bonus points awarded for number of tries or losing margin and the Six Nations teams alternate playing home and away against their opponents each year.
The winner of the Six Nations is the rugby team with the most points at the end of the tournament. In the event of a tie, it goes to the team with the best points difference, then number of tries scored in rugby games.
There are other titles awarded within the Six Nations Championship. A team wins the Grand Slam if they beat all their opponents, the Triple Crown goes to a Home Nations team who beat all the other Home Nations sides, and the Wooden Spoon is awarded to the team who finish bottom of the table.
Six Nations Rugby Teams
The most successful team in the tournament’s history with 26 wins overall but only 4 since the start of the Six Nations. They have 12 Grand Slams and 24 Triple Crowns.
Home ground: Twickenham Stadium, London
Anthem: God Save the Queen
The Scottish Team have 3 Grand Slams and 10 Triple Crowns and are reigning Five Nations Champions after winning the final tournament in 1999. Their form in the Six Nations has been less impressive.
Home ground: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Anthem: Flower of Scotland
Many historic rugby games were played at Landsdowne Road and Ireland with 2 Grand Slams and 10 Triple Crowns are building a new dynasty at the Aviva in the Six Nations era. The team enjoyed back to back titles in 2014 and 2015.
Home ground: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Anthem: Amhrán na bhFiann and Ireland’s Call
Wales ruled rugby in the 70s but it took the Six Nations and a new millennium for a generation to emerge that could continue the legacy. Wales have 11 Grand Slams, 20 Triple Crowns and 26 overall wins.
Home ground: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
The France Rugby Team are the most successful of the Six Nations era with 5 wins. They also have 9 Grand Slams.
Home ground: Stade de France, Paris
Anthem: La Marseillaise
The Italians joined the Six Nations tournament in 2000, and the name change accommodated their addition. Captain Sergio Parisse and Prop Martin Castrogiovanni are worshiped by the fans. Few victories so far but they always play for pride.
Home ground: Stadio Olympico, Rome
Anthem: Il Canto degli Italiani
Six Nations Statistics
2013 Wales2014 Ireland2015 Ireland
|2002||France (Grand Slam)|
|2003||England (Grand Slam)|
|2004||France (Grand Slam)|
|2005||Wales (Grand Slam)|
|2008||Wales (Grand Slam)|
|2009||Ireland (Grand Slam)|
|2010||France (Grand Slam)|
|2012||Wales (Grand Slam)|
Six Nations Trophy
The Six Nations Championship Trophy is awarded to the winner of the tournament. The silver cup has 15 panels, one for each rugby position and 3 handles which represent the three match officials. The finial on the lid can be swapped to represent the winning team’s emblem and the other five finials remain in a concealed drawer in the cups base, waiting for the next year.
The Triple Crown Trophy is only awarded when a home nation team beat all the other home nations teams.
The Calcutta Cup is held by the winner of the England v Scotland clash was first contested in 1879 and is made from melted down Indian Rupees.
There are a number of other trophies which are awarded for key fixtures in the Six Nations tournament – Scotland play Ireland for the Centenary Quaich, France play Italy for the Guiseppe Garibaldi Trophy and England and Ireland contest the Millennium Trophy.