There are only a few days left until the Six Nations tournament, and rugby fans around the world can’t wait for it to start. Adding to the excitement is the fact that this is the year in which another big tournament, the World Championship, will be held, which does not happen that often.
Although the Six Nations Tournament is held every year, the World Cup is only every fourth, so this year is special for all rugby fans. That’s why in this text, we will focus a little more on the tournament itself and try to explain everything you need to know before it begins. So, whether you’ll be enjoying some rugby union betting or simply spectating the games, you can rest assured that your entertainment will be guaranteed!
How Did It All Start?
Although today there are six participants, the first version of this famous tournament had four of them and was named the Home Nations Championship because the four countries that participated were all from the United Kingdom – Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. It all started back in 1883, and until 1910 these four national teams competed for the prestigious trophy.
In 1910, it changed its name to the Five Nations Championship because France joined this elite squad, but did not make a memorable result as they lost all their games and ended the tournament in the last place. However, they became regular participants since then and won the last tournament, which means they will try to defeat the title in this one.
The youngest national team in the tournament is Italy, which joined in 2000, and the tournament changed its name once again, so it is now called Six Nations Championship, or Guinness Six Nations, because of the sponsor. Italy still waits for its first title and hopes this year will be the lucky one.
Tradition Is Important
The most interesting fact is that this tournament is held at the same time every year, which has become traditional.
It always starts on the first weekend of February and lasts for about a month and a half, which means it usually ends on the second or third weekend in March. All the matches are played on weekends, so fans around the world do not need to take a day off from their job to enjoy their favorite sport.
Number of Games
Each team from the elite squad needs to face all other opponents, which means each of them has five matches to play. Regarding that, the tournament has five rounds and lasts for five weekends, and of course, the team with the most wins gets the trophy. Until 2017, each win was worth 2 points, a draw 1 point, and a loss 0, but then a new scoring system was introduced, which is still used today.
According to the new scoring system, every win is worth 4 points; for the draw, each team gets 2 points, and there are no points for the loss. Besides that, the team gets 1 bonus point if they score four or more tries in a match and if they lose by 7 or fewer. The team that wins all its games gets another 3 points, which secures their first place.
Each national team has a stadium where they hold their home matches, which means that the tournament is held in six different countries. Since each of them faces their opponents just once a year, the home advantage is changed every year, so none of them can be the host to the same opponent twice in a row.
England has the largest capacity stadium, which is located in London, while Ireland has the smallest one, located in Dublin.
There Is More than One Trophy
Winning the Championship Trophy is the first wish of every participant, but it is not the only one they can get. The first version of it was presented in 1993, and it was changed in 2015, and the fun fact is that Ireland won the last one of 1993 and the first one of the 2015 version. The teams with the most titles are England and Wales, and they have 39 of them.
Another important trophy is Grand Slam which is reserved for the team which succeeds in winning all the games in the tournament, and the team with the most of them is England, but since Wales is in second place with just one trophy less, the 2024 Six Nations can be the one when we would have the two countries that share the first place. Unfortunately for Italy, they are the only team that does not have a Grand Slam, but it can change pretty soon.
Home Nations (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) have the opportunity to win the Triple Crown, which is awarded if the team beats all three opponents when they play against each other.
Besides that, there are many rivalry trophies against participants, and one not-so-popular called Wooden Spoon, which is reserved for the team that ends the tournament last or loses all of their matches, and Italy won it the most times.
2024 Six Nations Beginning
This year the tournament will start on the 4th of February with the match between Wales and Ireland. Saturday is also reserved for the match against England and Scotland, while Italy and France will play on Sunday.
Until the end of the competition, two games will be played on Saturdays, and one on Sundays, except the matches of round 5, which are all played on Saturday 18th of March.
There is no doubt that in a few days, we will have exciting matches that every real rugby fan will enjoy.
All teams have prepared for this competition, and there is no doubt that big surprises are possible. If you are one of the fans who can’t wait for the Six Nations to start and have some predictions, you will need a reliable website to place a bet.
We know how challenging it can be to find a trustworthy one, and because of that, we have done some research and have found one of the best ones.