Six Nations Championship

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Six Nations Championship
Current season or competition:
Rugby football current event.svg 2022 Six Nations Championship
Guinness Six Nations.png
The Guinness Six Nations logo
Sport Rugby union
Instituted1883 (as Home Nations Championship)
1910 (as Five Nations Championship)
2000 (as Six Nations Championship)
Number of teams6
CountryFlag of England.svg  England
Flag of France.svg  France
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
HoldersFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales (2021)
Most titlesFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales (40 titles)
Website www.sixnationsrugby.com

The Six Nations Championship (known as the Guinness Six Nations [n 1] for sponsorship reasons) is an annual international men's rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The current champions are Wales, who won the 2021 tournament.

Contents

The tournament is organised by the unions of the six participating nations under the banner of Six Nations Rugby, which is responsible for the promotion and operation of the men's, women's and under-20s tournaments, and the Autumn International Series, as well as the negotiation and management of their centralised commercial rights.

The Six Nations is the successor to the Home Nations Championship (1883–1909 and 1932–39), played between teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, which was the first international rugby union tournament. [2] With the addition of France, this became the Five Nations Championship (1910–31 and 1947–99), which in turn became the Six Nations Championship with the addition of Italy.

Wales have won the championship the most times (40 titles; 28 outright, 12 shared), but England have won the most outright titles with 29. Since the Six Nations era started in 2000, only Italy and Scotland have failed to win the Six Nations title.

The women's tournament started as the Women's Home Nations in the 1996 season.

History and expansion

The tournament was first played in 1883 as the Home Nations Championship among the four Home Nations of the United Kingdom – England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. However, England was excluded from the 1888 and 1889 tournaments due to their refusal to join the International Rugby Football Board. The tournament then became the Five Nations Championship in 1910 with the addition of France. The tournament was expanded in 2000 to become the Six Nations Championship with the addition of Italy.

Following the relative success of the Tier 2 nations in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, there were calls by Octavian Morariu, the president of Rugby Europe, to let Georgia and Romania join the Six Nations due to their consistent success in the European Nations Cup and ability to compete in the Rugby World Cup. [3] [4]

Format

The locations of the Six Nations participants Tournoi2.svg
The locations of the Six Nations participants

The tournament begins on the first weekend in February and culminates with Super Saturday on the second or third Saturday in March. The format of the Championship is simple: each team plays every other team once (making a total of 15 matches), with home ground advantage alternating from one year to the next. Prior to the 2017 tournament, two points were awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. Unlike many other rugby union competitions the bonus point system had not previously been used.

On 30 November 2016, the Six Nations Committee announced that a bonus point system would be trialled in the 2017 Championship. The system is similar to the one used in most rugby championships (0 points for a loss, 2 for a draw, 4 for a win, 1 for scoring four or more tries in a match, and 1 for losing by 7 points or fewer). The only difference is that a team that wins all their games (a Grand Slam) are automatically awarded 3 extra points - to ensure they cannot be overtaken by a defeated team on bonus points.

Prior to 1994, teams equal on match points shared the championship. Since then, ties have been broken by considering the points difference (total points scored minus total points conceded) of the teams. The rules of the championship further provide that if teams tie on both match points and points difference, the team that scored the most tries wins the championship. Were this decider to be a tie, the tying teams would share the championship. [5] To date, however, match points and points difference have been sufficient to decide the championship.

The Wooden Spoon is a metaphorical award given to the team that finishes in last place, or alternatively by a team that loses all of its games in a championship. [6] Since the inaugural Six Nations tournament in 2000, only England and Ireland have avoided finishing last. Italy have finished last 15 times in the Six Nations era, and have lost every match 11 times.

Home advantage in the Six Nations
Three home matchesTwo home matches
Even yearsFlag of France.svg  France IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Odd yearsFlag of England.svg  England Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of France.svg  France IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales

Trophies

Championship Trophy

The Original Six Nations Championship Trophy (1993-2014) and The Triple Crown Trophy Ireland 2009 6 nations triple crown.jpg
The Original Six Nations Championship Trophy (1993–2014) and The Triple Crown Trophy

The winners of the Six Nations are presented with the Championship Trophy. [7] This was originally conceived by the Earl of Westmorland, and was first presented to the winners of the 1993 championship, France. It is a sterling silver trophy, designed by James Brent-Ward and made by a team of eight silversmiths from the London firm William Comyns.

It has 15 side panels representing the 15 members of the team and with three handles to represent the three officials (referee and two touch judges). The cup has a capacity of 3.75 litres – sufficient for five bottles of champagne. Within the mahogany base is a concealed drawer which contains six alternative finials, each a silver replica of one of the team emblems, which can be screwed on the detachable lid.

A new trophy was introduced for the 2015 Championship. [8] The new trophy was designed and crafted by Thomas Lyte silversmiths and replaces the 1993 edition, which is being retired as it represented the nations that took part in the Five Nations Championship. Ireland were the last team to win the old trophy and the first team to win the new one. [9]

Grand Slam and Triple Crown

A team that wins all its games wins the 'Grand Slam'.

The Triple Crown may only be won by one of the Home Nations of England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, when one nation wins all three of their matches against the others. The Triple Crown dates back to the original Home Nations Championship, but the physical Triple Crown Trophy has been awarded only since 2006, when the Royal Bank of Scotland (the primary sponsor of the competition) commissioned Hamilton & Inches to design and create a dedicated Triple Crown Trophy. It has since been won four times by Ireland and Wales, and three times by England.

Rivalry trophies

Several individual competitions take place under the umbrella of the tournament. Some of these trophies are also awarded for other matches between the two teams outside the Six Nations.

TrophyTeamsSinceNotes
Calcutta Cup England and Scotland1879 [10] Made from melted-down Indian rupees donated by the Calcutta Club.
Millennium Trophy England and Ireland1988Presented to celebrate Dublin's millennium in 1988. [11]
Centenary Quaich Ireland and Scotland1989 [12] [13] [14]
Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy France and Italy2007On the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Garibaldi, leader in the unification of Italy and volunteer in the French Republican Army against Prussia.
Auld Alliance Trophy France and Scotland2018In memory of the war dead from the rugby communities of Scotland and France. [15]
Doddie Weir Cup Wales and Scotland2018In recognition of Doddie Weir, who founded the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation which supports and aids research into Motor neuron disease. [16]

Venues

Twickenham Stadium - May 2012.jpg
Murrayfield Autumn 2017.jpg
Millennium Stadium RWC2015.jpg
Aviva Stadium seen from Block 312.jpg
France-Andorre Stade de France 15.jpg
2012-03-17 ITA - SCO prematch.jpg
The national rugby union stadiums of the six countries host the events.

As of the 2021 competition, Six Nations matches are held in the following stadia:

TeamStadiumLocationCapacity
England Twickenham Stadium London 82,000
France Stade de France Saint-Denis 81,338
Wales Principality Stadium Cardiff 74,500
Italy Stadio Olimpico Rome 72,698
Scotland Murrayfield Stadium Edinburgh 67,144
Ireland Aviva Stadium Dublin 51,700

The opening of Aviva Stadium in May 2010 ended the arrangement with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) that allowed the all-Ireland governing body for rugby union, the Irish Rugby Football Union, to use the GAA's flagship stadium, Croke Park, for its international matches. This arrangement was made necessary by the 2007 closure and subsequent demolition of Ireland's traditional home at Lansdowne Road; Aviva Stadium was built on the former Lansdowne Road site. During this construction, Croke Park was the largest of the Six Nations grounds, with a capacity of 82,300.

In 2012 Italy moved their home games from the 32,000 seat Stadio Flaminio, to Stadio Olimpico, also in Rome, with a capacity of 72,000.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) had planned to build a new stadium of its own, seating 82,000 in the southern suburbs of Paris, [17] because of frustrations with their tenancy of Stade de France. [18] However the project was cancelled in December 2016. [19] France played their 2018 match against Italy at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. [20]

In 2020, Wales played their final game at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli due to the Millennium Stadium being used as Dragon's Heart Hospital in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. [21]

Results

Overall

 Flag of England.svg
England
Flag of France.svg
France
IRFU flag.svg
Ireland
Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
Flag of Scotland.svg
Scotland
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
Wales
Tournaments1249112621126126
Outright wins (shared wins)
Home Nations5 (4)N/A4 (4)N/A10 (3)7 (4)
Five Nations17 (6)12 (8)6 (5)N/A5 (6)15 (8)
Six Nations754006
Overall29 (10)17 (8)14 (9)0 (0)15 (9)28 (12)
Grand Slams
Home Nations0N/A0N/A02
Five Nations1161N/A36
Six Nations232004
Overall13930312
Triple Crowns
Home Nations5N/A2N/A76
Five Nations16N/A4N/A311
Six Nations5N/A5N/A05
Overall26N/A11N/A1022
Wooden Spoons
Home Nations11N/A15N/A88
Five Nations141721N/A2112
Six Nations0101541
Overall251836153321

Home Nations (1883–1909)

YearChampions Grand Slam Triple Crown Calcutta Cup
1883 Flag of England.svg  England Not contestedFlag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1884 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1885 Not completedNot completed
1886 Flag of England.svg  England and Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1887 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1888 Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland, Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland and Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales England did not participate
1889 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland England did not participate
1890 Flag of England.svg  England and Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of England.svg  England
1891 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1892 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1893 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1894 Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1895 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1896 Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1897 Not completedNot completedFlag of England.svg  England
1898 Not completedNot completed
1899 Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1900 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales
1901 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1902 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1903 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1904 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1905 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1906 Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland and Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1907 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1908 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1909 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Five Nations (1910–1931)

YearChampions Grand Slam Triple Crown Calcutta Cup
1910 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1911 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1912 Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland and Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1913 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1914 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1915–19Not held due to World War I
1920 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland, Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales and Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1921 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1922 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1923 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1924 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1925 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1926 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland and Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1927 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland and Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1928 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1929 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1930 Flag of England.svg  England
1931 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Home Nations (1932–1939)

YearChampions Grand Slam Triple Crown Calcutta Cup
1932 Flag of England.svg  England, IRFU flag.svg  Ireland and Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1933 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1934 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1935 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1936 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1937 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1938 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1939 Flag of England.svg  England, IRFU flag.svg  Ireland, Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England

Five Nations (1940–1999)

YearChampions Grand Slam Triple Crown Calcutta Cup Millennium Trophy Centenary Quaich
1940–46Not held due to World War II Not contested
1947 Flag of England.svg  England and Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1948 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1949 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England
1950 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1951 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England
1952 Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1953 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1954 Flag of England.svg  England, Flag of France.svg  France and Flag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1955 Flag of France.svg  France and Flag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1956 Flag of Wales (1953-1959).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1957 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1958 Flag of England.svg  England
1959 Flag of France.svg  France
1960 Flag of England.svg  England and Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1961 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England
1962 Flag of France.svg  France
1963 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1964 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland and Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1965 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
1966 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1967 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England
1968 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England
1969 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1970 Flag of France.svg  France and Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1971 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1972 Not completedFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1973 Flag of England.svg  England, Flag of France.svg  France, IRFU flag.svg  Ireland,
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland, Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Flag of England.svg  England
1974 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1975 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1976 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1977 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1978 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1979 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
1980 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England
1981 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England
1982 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
1983 Flag of France.svg  France and IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1984 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1985 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England
1986 Flag of France.svg  France and Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1987 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England
1988 Flag of France.svg  France and Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England
1989 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1990 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1991 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1992 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1993 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1994 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
1995 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1996 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1997 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1998 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
1999 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Six Nations (2000–present)

YearChampions Grand Slam Triple Crown Calcutta Cup Millennium
Trophy
Centenary
Quaich
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Trophy
Auld Alliance
Trophy
Doddie Weir
Cup
Wooden spoon
2000 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Not contestedNot contestedNot contestedFlag of Italy.svg  Italy
2001 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2002 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2003 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
2004 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
2005 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2006 Flag of France.svg  France IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2007 Flag of France.svg  France IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
2008 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2009 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2010 Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2011 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2012 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
2013 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of France.svg  France
2014 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2015 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
2016 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2017 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2018 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2019 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2020 Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg  England IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
2021 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Flag of Italy.svg  Italy

Titles and awards

Grand Slams and Triple Crowns
NationGrand SlamsLast Grand SlamTriple CrownsLast Triple Crown
Flag of England.svg  England 132016262020
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 122019222021
Flag of France.svg  France 92010N/AN/A
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 32018112018
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 31990101990
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 0N/AN/A

Wooden Spoon

Wooden Spoons (last place)
TeamWooden SpoonsLast
Wooden Spoon
HNCFNCSNC
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 25199811140
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 2420155154
Flag of England.svg  England 1919877120
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 1720036101
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 162021N/AN/A16
Flag of France.svg  France 132013N/A121

Home Nations and Five Nations

Wooden Spoon winners (alone in last place)
TeamWooden SpoonsYears awarded
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 25 1884 , 1890 , 1891 , 1893 , 1895 , 1900 , 1904, 1909 , 1920 , 1934, 1938 , 1955 , 1958, 1960 , 1961, 1962 , 1964, 1977 , 1981 , 1984 , 1986 , 1992 , 1996, 1997, 1998
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 20 1902 , 1911 , 1930, 1932 , 1935, 1936 , 1939 , 1947 , 1952 , 1953 , 1954 , 1956, 1959, 1965 , 1968 , 1971, 1978 , 1979 , 1985 , 1994
Flag of England.svg  England 17 1887 , 1899 , 1901 , 1903 , 1905 , 1906, 1907 , 1931 , 1948 , 1950, 1966 , 1972 , 1974, 1975, 1976 , 1983 , 1987
Flag of France.svg  France 9 1910 , 1912 , 1913 , 1925 , 1926 , 1929 , 1957 , 1969 , 1999
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 9 1889 , 1892 , 1937 , 1949, 1963, 1967, 1990 , 1993, 1995
1883, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1897, 1898 and 1914 were not completed and 1973 was shared between each nation.

Bold indicates that the team did not win any matches.

Six Nations

Wooden Spoon winners (last place)
TeamWooden SpoonsYears awarded
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 16 2000, 2001 , 2002 , 2005 , 2006 , 2008, 2009 , 2010, 2011, 2014 , 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020 , 2021
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 4 2004 , 2007, 2012 , 2015
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 1 2003
Flag of France.svg  France 1 2013
Flag of England.svg  England 0
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 0

Bold indicates that the team did not win any matches.

Player awards

Player of the championship [22]
YearWinner
2004 IRFU flag.svg Gordon D'Arcy
2005 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Martyn Williams
2006 IRFU flag.svg Brian O'Driscoll
2007 IRFU flag.svg Brian O'Driscoll (2)
2008 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Shane Williams
2009 IRFU flag.svg Brian O'Driscoll (3)
2010 IRFU flag.svg Tommy Bowe
2011 Flag of Italy.svg Andrea Masi
2012 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Dan Lydiate
2013 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Leigh Halfpenny
2014 Flag of England.svg Mike Brown
2015 IRFU flag.svg Paul O'Connell
2016 Flag of Scotland.svg Stuart Hogg
2017 Flag of Scotland.svg Stuart Hogg (2)
2018 IRFU flag.svg Jacob Stockdale
2019 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Alun Wyn Jones
2020 Flag of France.svg Antoine Dupont
2021 Flag of Scotland.svg Hamish Watson

Records

Ronan O'Gara of Ireland holds the career scoring record with 557 points. England's Jonny Wilkinson currently holds the records for individual points in one match (35 points against Italy in 2001) and one season with 89 (scored in 2001).

The record for tries in a match is held by Scotsman George Lindsay who scored five tries against Wales in 1887. [23] England's Cyril Lowe and Scotland's Ian Smith jointly hold the record for tries in one season with 8 (Lowe in 1914, Smith in 1925). Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll has the Championship record for tries with 26.

The record for appearances is held by Sergio Parisse of Italy, with 69 appearances, [24] since his Six Nations debut in 2004.

The most points scored by a team in one match was 80 points, scored by England against Italy in 2001. England also scored the most ever points in a season in 2001 with 229, and most tries in a season with 29. [23] Wales hold the record for fewest tries conceded during a season in the Six Nations era, conceding only 2 in 5 games in 2008, but the 1977 Grand Slam-winning France team did not concede a try in their four matches. Wales hold the record for the longest time without conceding a try, at 358 minutes in the 2013 tournament.

Administration

The Championship is run from headquarters in Dublin, Ireland by Six Nations Rugby Ltd. [25] Benjamin Morel became the CEO of the Six Nations Championship as of 5 November 2018, [26] [27] [28] replacing John Feehan, who stepped down on 20 April 2018. [29] [30]

Media

The BBC has long covered the tournament in the United Kingdom, broadcasting all matches apart from England home matches between 1997 and 2002, which were shown live by Sky Sports with highlights on the BBC. In addition, Welsh language coverage of broadcasts matches featuring the Welsh team shown by the BBC are shown on S4C in Wales in the United Kingdom. [31] Between 2003 and 2015, the BBC covered every match live on BBC Sport either on BBC One or BBC Two with highlights also on the BBC Sport website and either on the BBC Red Button or late at night on BBC Two. In 2011, it was announced that the BBC's coverage of the tournament on TV, radio and online would be extended to 2017. [32]

On 9 July 2015, in reaction to bids by Sky for the rights beginning in 2018, the BBC ended its contract two seasons early, and renegotiated a joint contract with ITV Sport for rights to the Six Nations from 2016 through 2021. ITV acquired rights to England, Ireland and Italy home matches, while the BBC retained rights to France, Scotland and Wales home matches. By ending its contract early, the BBC saved around £30 million, while the new contract generated £20 million in additional revenue for the Six Nations. [33]

With the end of the contract nearing, speculation once again emerged in 2020 that Sky was pursuing rights to the Six Nations from 2022 onward; under the Ofcom "listed events" rules, rights to the tournament can be held by a pay television channel if delayed broadcasts or highlights are made available on free-to-air television. It was reported that the bid for CVC Equity Partners to purchase a stake in the Six Nations was being hindered by a desire for a more lucrative broadcast contract; a call for the Six Nations to be moved to Category A (which requires live coverage to air free-to-air) was rejected. [34] [35] In May 2021, the BBC and ITV renewed their contracts through 2025. The BBC will continue to broadcast home matches from Scotland and Wales and all women's and under-20s matches, with ITV airing England, France, Ireland and Italy home matches. [36] [37]

In Ireland, RTÉ have broadcast the championship since RTÉ's inception and continued to do so until 2017, while TG4 televised highlights. However, in late 2015 RTÉ's free-to-air rival TV3 was awarded the rights for every game from the Six Nations on Irish television from 2018 to 2021. [38]

France Télévisions covered the competition in France. [39]

In Italy, from 2014 to 2021 DMAX of Discovery Communications broadcast all matches.

In the United States, NBC Sports broadcasts matches in English and TV5 Monde airs matches in French. [40]

CountryBroadcasterSummary
Flag of England.svg  England
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
S4C Wales games in the Welsh language
Flag of France.svg  France France 2 All games.
Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland RTÉ All games until 2025.
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy DMAX All games until 2021

Sponsorship

Until 1998, the Championship had no title sponsor. Sponsorship rights were sold to Lloyds TSB Group for the 1999 tournament and the competition was titled the Lloyds TSB 5 Nations and Lloyds TSB 6 Nations until 2002. [41]

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group took over sponsorship from 2003 until 2017, with the competition being branded the RBS 6 Nations. A new title sponsor was sought for the 2018 tournament and beyond. [42] However, after struggling to find a new sponsor, organisers agreed a one-year extension at a reduced rate. As the RBS brand was being phased out, the tournament was named after the NatWest banking subsidiary, becoming the NatWest 6 Nations. [43]

On 7 December 2018, Guinness was announced as the Championship's new title sponsor, with the competition to be named the Guinness Six Nations from 2019 to 2024. [44] [n 1]

See also

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The 2021 Six Nations Championship was the 22nd Six Nations Championship, the annual rugby union competition contested by the national teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales, and the 127th edition of the competition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament started just three months after the end of the previous tournament and all matches took place without spectators.

This is a timeline of the history of rugby union on television in the UK.

References

Notes

  1. 1 2 The French Loi Évin prohibits alcohol sponsorship of sport, so Guinness does not appear in the name there; the slogan "Six Nations Greatness" is used to hint at the word Guinness. [1]

Sources

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  2. Godwin (1984), pg 1. Though only matches involving Ireland could properly be considered international, and only after 1922, all other teams being from entirely within the nation state of the United Kingdom. The first ever Home Nations International Championship was played in 1883. No other Northern Hemisphere team played a recognised international match until France faced New Zealand in 1906
  3. Brown, Oliver (25 March 2015). "Open up the Six Nations and let Georgia in". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
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