An Introduction to the Guinness Six Nations Championship

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DUBLIN, IRELAND – The Six Nations Championship 2023 is upon us and is again being sponsored by Guinness. On the 4th February 2023, Wales v Ireland will kick off the tournament. The match will start at 2.15pm GMT and will be played at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales.

The Six Nations Championship 2023 will conclude on the 18th March 2023, when Ireland takes on England at the Aviva Stadium, kick off at 5pm GMT.

This year, France and Ireland are looking strong, Scotland inconsistent, Wales hit by injuries, England rebuilding, and Italy to win the Wooden Spoon (again). It feels that there are only two teams in this year’s Championship. I have said that Ireland are my favourites this year to win, as they have their tough fixtures at home and France have their tough fixtures away, but let us not forget the upsets that have happened in the Six Nations. In 2022, how many people bet on an Italy win in the Wales v Italy contest?

Italy have ruined other 6 Nations teams’ dreams, too.

  • Italy 34-20 Scotland (2000)
  • Italy 22-21 France (2011)
  • Italy 22-15 Ireland (2013)

Rugby fans across the world will be tuning in to see this annual spectacle that takes place between Ireland, France, Scotland, England, Wales, and Italy. The current holders of the Six Nations are France. Fans in the Northern Hemisphere believe that this is the best annual international Rugby union competition. Just before Christmas, I was at a dinner with Nigel Owens MBE (The distinguished Welsh referee), and he proclaimed to the audience that this was the case as far as he was concerned. He loved the Six Nations and said that other than the World Cup, there was no better competition.

Andy Farrell, Head Coach of Ireland has also stated, ‘[He doesn’t] think there’s a competition in rugby better than this. The camaraderie throughout the competition is something that is unique and special. Everyone looks forward to a big competition.’

France’s Fabien Galthié is of like-minded thinking, believing that the competition is one that ‘brings people together’.

Being of dual nationality as a New Zealander and Englishman, I too love the Six Nations Championship, but I am also an enthusiastic fan of the Southern Hemispheres’ annual competition, The Rugby Championship. The Rugby Championship is competed by New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Argentina. I used to think for years that the Southern Hemisphere competition was far superior, but in the last few years, both hemispheres are equal in their performances on the field.

History of the Six Nations Championship.                                    

The Six Nations Championship began in 2000 when Italy joined the competition. The first international contest was the Home Nations Championship, which started in 1883 and was contested by England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. France joined the competition in 1910 to form the Five Nations Championship.

The current Six Nations Championship trophy replaced the old one in 2015. Thomas Lyte silversmiths crafted and designed the trophy which replaced the 1993 trophy. An interesting fact was that Ireland were the last team to win the old trophy and the first to win the new trophy.

Trophies within the Six Nations Championship.

Within the 6 Nations, teams can win also win other plaudits, including the Grand Slam, Triple Crown, and rivalry trophies.

Grand Slam

Any team that wins all its matches within the Six Nations Championship wins the Grand Slam.

Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is played between England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. Whichever team beats all the opposition is awarded the Triple Crown.

Rivalry trophies

Calcutta Cup England and Scotland 1879 This is the oldest international contest, and Scotland are the current holders. Scotland would love to win the Six Nations, but beating England is a Scottish rite.
Millennium Trophy England and Ireland 1988 The Millennium Trophy was first presented in 1988 as part of Dublin’s millennial celebrations. The trophy is the shape of a horned Viking helmet. Ireland are the current holders.
Centenary Quaich Ireland and Scotland 1989 The Centenary Quaich was first awarded in 1989. A quaich is a Gaelic drinking vessel. Ireland are the current holders of this trophy.
Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy France and Italy 2007 The Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy is to commemorate the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi, leader in the unification of Italy. France are the current holders.
Auld Alliance Trophy France and Scotland 2018 This was created in memory of the war dead from the rugby communities of Scotland and France. France are the current holders.
Doddie Weir Cup Wales and Scotland 2018 This trophy was set up in recognition of Doddie Weir, who founded the My Name’s Doddie Foundation. Wales are the current holders.
Cuttitta Cup Scotland and Italy 2022 This commemorates Massimo Cuttitta, a former Italian captain and Scotland scrum coach. Scotland are the current holders.

Winners in the 6 Nations Championship

England have won the Six Nations Championship the most times. France and Wales are equal in second place, Ireland in third place, and Scotland and Italy have yet to win the competition.

  • England 7
  • France 6
  • Wales 6
  • Ireland 4
  • Scotland 0
  • Italy 0         

Grand Slam wins in the 6 Nations.

Wales and France are in equal first place, having won 4 Grand Slams. England are in joint second place having won twice. Scotland and Italy have yet to win a Grand Slam.

  • Wales 4
  • France 4
  • England 2
  • Ireland 2
  • Scotland 0
  • Italy 0

Triple Crown Wins in the 6 Nations Championship

Ireland have won the Triple Crown the most times in the Six Nations Championship. England and Wales are joint second. Scotland have yet to win one.

  • Ireland 6
  • England 5
  • Wales 5
  • Scotland 0

Betting on the Six Nations 2023

For those interested in betting on the upcoming 2023 Six Nations, you can place wagers on all of the above. You are able to bet on the outright winner, whether a team will win the Grand Slam, and whether there will be a Triple Crown winner or not. Rugby has become a very popular sport for punters to put their money on, and one of the main reasons for this is because it has plenty of variation when it comes to different markets that can be bet on.

Many novice rugby bettors make the rookie mistake of just diving straight in and placing bets with the hope that Lady Luck will be on their side, but this is, more often than not, a recipe for disaster. Before you place any wagers, take the time to check out a Six Nations betting guide. If nothing else, making an informed decision will help you make the most of your sports betting experience.

The Six Nations is growing every year in terms of people watching the rugby spectacle, and 2023 will be no different. This is a magical event that the family can take part in. No matter what your size, shape, ability, rugby has something for everyone. I am looking forward to a great 2023 Six Nations Championship.

While you’re here… here’s a 1-minute teaser/trailer for our MLR Weekly show.

About Steven Brown 1 Article
Steven Brown is an avid rugby fan, as he is both Kiwi and English!