The Guinness Six Nations Championship is right around the corner. Gain insight into the tournament and find out how to turn up the excitement.
Rugby Union’s Biggest Tournament – The Six Nations
Excitement and anticipation is steadily growing around Ireland in preparation for one of the biggest and best dates within the rugby union calendar starting in just a few weeks. The annual Six Nations Championship tournament attracts millions of rugby fans to spectate, both in Ireland and around the world. This sees the home nations of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, as well as Italy and France compete for the esteemed championship trophy.
The 128th edition of the championship is just around the corner taking place from the 5th February – 19th March, with the first match scheduled between Ireland and the defending champions, Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
If you are interested in following the 2022 Six Nations Championship, keep reading to get all the top information about the tournament and find out how you can get even closer to the action.
How do the Competing Teams Climb the Leader Board?
Originally formed in 1883, the tournament has evolved over time with the last major change occurring in 2000. Since the new millennium, the inclusion of Italy turned the tournament into the Six nations following huge progresses in rugby from their national team. Now, the six powerhouses have one opportunity to defeat their five opponents, one each week, to rise to the top of the leader board.
In each match, four points are rewarded to the winning team and in case of a draw, two points are awarded to each team. If a team scores four or more tries, they are able to claim a bonus point. Additionally, if a team loses by seven points of fewer, they will also receive a bonus point. Two bonus points can be rewarded if a team satisfies both of the bonus point conditions within the match.
If a team defeats all their opponents (known as a Grand Slam), an additional three bonus points are added to their score. The purpose of these three bonus points is to ensure that if a Grand Slam is achieved, they will top the leader board with at least 23 points.
Who are the Favourite Teams of the Six Nations in 2022?
So far, England have the most Six Nation titles under their belt with seven wins to their name. Wales follow closely behind, with their recent 2021 win, which was determined when Scotland beat France in the final, carrying them to a total of six wins. France falls slightly behind with five wins with Ireland just below with four wins to their name. Scotland and Italy both share the bottom spot without a single win in the tournament so far.
Despite this history, as well as only placing fifth in the Men’s World Rugby Rankings with 85.53 points, France are going into this tournament undoubtably the favourites at the bookmakers. However, the team is heading for a shakeup with captain Charles Ollivon potentially being ruled out due to an ACL injury.
England seem to be in second place in the eyes of the bookies. In the Men’s World Rugby Rankings, England are third on the leader board with 87.83 points, however considering just the competing nations of the tournament, they are top of the table.
Ireland manage to slide ahead of the defending champions as third favourites of the tournament. Their World Rugby Rankings stand currently at 86.53, compared to Wales’s score of 81.56.
The underdogs in the eyes of the bookies are understandably Scotland, with a World Rugby Ranking of 83.05, and finally Italy trailing with just 70.51 points. Italy will be hoping to build on their success during the Autumn Nations Series with new coach Kieran Crowley and avoid the ‘Wooden Spoon’. This metaphorical award is given to the team finishing last and has been given to Italy 15 times since they joined in 2000. They have also managed to lose every single match in the tournament 11 times and are yet to win against England
What Trophies are up for Grabs?
Aside from the prestigious trophy for the team that tops the tournament table, there are many other smaller competitions that are also hotly contested.
Landing a Grand Slam is no easy feat and is bears its own difficulties for aspiring teams. If a team manages to win against every other team, subsequently not dropping a single point, they will get the acclaimed Grand Slam title. Since 2000, only eight Grand Slams have been awarded, with Wales topping this leader board with three.
The Triple Crown can only be won by one of the home nations, England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. If a team successfully beats all the home nations, this will secure them this particular trophy. Currently Ireland stands ahead of the others with four Triple Crowns to their name.
There are other smaller trophies that are played for between specific teams competing in the six nations. The Calcutta Cup is played for by England and Scotland, who are the current holders, since the late 1800’s and carries a strong rivalry between the two teams. The Millennium Trophy, played for by England and Ireland, began in 1988. The next trophy to come into existence was the Centenary Quaich in 1989, played for by Ireland and Scotland. 2007 saw the start of the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy, played for by Italy and France.
Popularity of the Six Nations Championship in Ireland
The thrill of watching this adrenaline filled game is enough for most to be hooked on Rugby, let alone being able to cheer for your home country in this event. Irish fans love to watch this tournament and millions of people tune in to see all the action unfold.
The Six Nations Championship is definitely regarded as one of the best European traditions that manages to unite fans around the world. Many fans like to turn the action up a notch by placing wagers on the ongoing tournament. Experienced and casual bettors alike can benefit from sites such as www.betinireland.ie/sports-betting/rugby/six-nations to find out all the latest Six Nations information, the best betting tips, and also the top betting sites.
This year could be a particularly interesting one as many matches taking place are likely to be without crowds. This is having an interesting effect on matches where a home advantage was often taken into consideration while placing wagers. With many matches to possibly be played behind closed doors, the home advantage could potentially be erased meaning even tighter matches for 2022.