The Six Nations, formerly known as the Home Nations Championship and then the Five Nations is the oldest rugby union tournament in history to be contested continually. Rugby fans worldwide are called to book Six Nations 2024 tickets from our online platform ticketing. co. Rugby fans can book France Six Nations Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
The most recent championship is expected to mark the 129th time that the tournament has been held in some capacity. Of course, in its 140 years of existence, there have been many legendary teams, players, and competitions that have captured the public’s attention.
These include the thrilling Wales team that dominated the 1970s, and the formidable England team of 2003 that won both the World Cup and the Six Nations.
Six Nations History: The Greatest Rugby Championship
The Home Nations Championship gave rise to the Six Nations, which is nearly 50 years older than most other current sporting competitions, including the FIFA World Cup. In actuality, the first 1883 tournament started in 1882 when England defeated Wales 2-0 on Saturday, December 16, at Swansea. In addition to winning the inaugural Triple Crown trophy. England was victorious in the inaugural competition that involved Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and themselves.
From 1883 until 1909, every year but five (1885, 1888, 1889, 1897, and 1898) saw the Home Nations Championship held. Only in 1909, when France was added to the tournament schedule, did the Five Nations officially begin. There was an annual tournament from 1910 to 1931, except 1915–1919 because of World War I.
Despite failing to secure a single championship, France’s new lads managed to gather six wooden spoons at the bottom of the standings. The Home Nations returned to the competition between 1932 and 1939 after a brief French departure, but World War II imposed a six-year break. The match between the Five Nations began when France returned in 1946.
Italy’s inclusion in the late 1990s marked a significant shift in competition after defeating Scotland in their first Guinness Six Nations encounter. Despite their past successes, Italy has struggled to compete in 23 competitions.
Most successful Six Nations squads
With 39 titles apiece, England and Wales are officially the most successful teams in the championship’s history. Nevertheless, a number of these were shared titles, achieved before the application of tiebreakers like point differential. As a result, England narrowly leads Wales in terms of total titles won 29 to 28.
In terms of titles gained during the Guinness Six Nations era, England also surpasses their competitors. Wales and France have won six of the competition’s victories since 2000, while England has won seven. Despite the Scots winning the final Five Nations in 1999, neither Scotland nor Italy have won a Six Nations championship since the year 2000. Ireland, on the other hand, has won five since that time.
Biggest loss in Six Nation’s History
France crushed England to the sword in the fourth round of the 2023 championship at Twickenham, putting on a dominant show. Les Bleus won 53-10, handing Steve Borthwick’s team its worst-ever loss at the renowned stadium. It was worse than the 42-6 setback they suffered against South Africa in 2008 – a game that Borthwick began.
It was not far from the largest away team victory margin in the history of the tournament. Ireland currently holds the record after defeating Italy 63–10 in 2017. Italy also had the worst loss, either at home or away, in 2001 when they were thrashed 80-23 by England. Rugby fans can book France vs England Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
‘Grand Slam’ and Six Nations rivalry trophies
Ireland had a fantastic St Patrick’s Day weekend in Dublin. They won the Grand Slam and the Triple Crown in addition to becoming the winners for the first time since 2018 after defeating England 29–16. The Grand Slam is earned by the tournament victors if they win every game, and it is arguably even more highly coveted than the championship trophy.
Given the tiny differences in quality between the contestants year over year, this has historically been a far rarer feat than just winning the crown. With 13 Grand Slam victories, England has surpassed France and Ireland in the last two championships.
England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales compete in the Triple Crown, which is an extension of the former Home Nations Championship. Ireland defeated England, Scotland, and Wales in 2022 and 2023 to take the title of Triple Crown. The Calcutta Cup, which pits Scotland against England, is the oldest trophy.
Top players in Six Nations history
Although 144 years of competition is undoubtedly a big sample size to choose from when determining the greatest players in the history of the competition, we at The Sporting News have tried our hardest to narrow the field down to six legendary players one from each country since the creation of the modern Guinness Six Nations in 2000.
England: Jonny Wilkinson
Jonny Wilkinson, a player who hardly needs an introduction, is most remembered for his drop-goal kick that helped England win the Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2003. He was perhaps the face of international rugby during the 2000s. With 35 points in England’s 80-23 victory over Italy in 2001.
Wilkinson holds the record for the most points in a single match and is the player with the second-highest total in the competions, behind only Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara. The fly-half was instrumental in England’s wins in the 2000, 2001 and 2003 tournaments.
The latter a Grand Slam as well as in their victory in 2011 near the end of his career thanks to his fierce defense and pinpoint accuracy from the tee. No player on the earth could match Wilkinson’s sublime exploits on the field for a spell in the middle of the 2000s.
France: Antoine Dupont
Toulouse scrum-half Antoine Dupont is close to becoming a French rugby icon, despite only being 26 years old and having only made his Six Nations appearance in 2017. Dupont became the first Frenchman to win the Six Nations Star of the Championship award twice as the captain of Fabien Galthie’s winning team in 2020 and 2022.
With the World Cup looming in France later this year, he has quickly established himself as Les Blues’ rugby poster boy. His stock is unlikely to decline anytime soon.
Ireland: Brian O’Driscoll
O’Driscoll is perhaps the best player to have ever played in the Home Nations, Five Nations, or Six Nations championships. He has set several records in the competition that will probably stand for a very long time. The centre, who rose above his starting position in the early years of professional rugby union, leads the Guinness Six Nations in tries scored with 26.
He has made 65 appearances, which is the second-highest total among all players in the competition’s 140-year history. In addition, O’Driscoll has had six nominations for Player of the Championship and has won three of them. These records, set in competitions, solidify the Dubliner’s status as one of the greatest players of the modern period.
Italy: Sergio Parisse
In the same way, O’Driscoll is without a doubt the greatest player to have ever played for Ireland. Iconic Italy captain Parisse is unmatched by anyone in the Azzurri uniform. The No. 8, who was born in Argentina, has 69 caps overall all of them as starts. He has been nominated eight times for Player of the Championship. But he has never taken home the trophy!
From 2008 until his international retirement in 2019, Parisse led the Azzurri, leading Italy to nine consecutive Guinness Six Nations championships. It’s evident how crucial Parisse’s elite efforts were for Italy that he was selected for player of the competition seven times in this time frame. It will be a while before the Six Nations witnesses a player of his calibre again.
Wales: Shane Williams
Several Welsh players, including Alun Wyn Jones and Sam Warburton, might be argued to be the nation’s greatest Guinness Six Nations players ever. The small winger Shane Williams, who overcame all of his doubters over a 12-year international tenure to become a famous figure in Welsh rugby, lurks behind the two forwards.
The five-foot-seven-inch winger is sometimes the shortest player on the field by a significant margin. He scored 22 of his 58 conversions for Wales in the Six Nations. He became the first winger to earn Player of the Tournament in 2008. Williams more than contributed to Wales’ two Grand Slam victories in 2005 and 2009, never letting his girth stand in his way on the field.
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