The Six Nations is the biggest annual tournament for rugby fans of the nations that take part. Six countries – Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland, Italy and France – battle it out to be crowned champion when it is held in the early months of each year.
In 2015, the first match will take place on February 6 and it will end on March 21. Here is a brief history of the tournament along with details about this year’s event.
Development of the Tournament
The Six Nations grew out of an earlier tournament called the Home Nations Championship, which was founded in 1883. Four teams took part in this: Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland.
Nearly two decades later in 1910, it became the Five Nations Championship when France joined in, and this continued right up to 1999, albeit with a short break from 1931 until after World War II.
In 1999, Italy joined the party, and the Six Nations was born.
Ups and Downs of the Teams
The most successful teams over the lifetime of the tournament are Wales and England, which have both won 26 titles.
The least successful team is Italy, which has never won, but it only joined the tournament in 1999. Scotland has won many titles, but it has not won the Six Nations yet.
What makes the tournament really interesting is that there are mini tournaments within the larger event. For example, the home nations have their own mini tournament whereby if one team beats all three other teams, they win the Triple Crown.
France has been the most successful team since the start of the Six Nations. It has won five times, including three Grand Slams. Wales has also won three Grand Slams.
Overall, England has the most Grand Slams since the Home Nations Championship began, winning a total of 12. Wales has won 11, and all the other teams apart from Italy have won at least one Grand Slam.
See the 2015 Six Nations in Italy
The rugby matches are held in different countries during each tournament. This year, Italy will be hosting three matches against Ireland, France and Wales on February 7, March 15 and March 21. All of the matches will be held at the Stadio Olimpico, the huge stadium in Rome.
If you want to watch one of the matches in the tournament, why not combine it with a trip to Italy? Make a holiday out of it and buy your tickets to the Italy v Ireland rugby match or one of the others along with your accommodation and flights.
Rome will be amazing during all of the matches, and you could stay for a weekend or even longer. You could see more of Rome and its world-class attractions including the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums. Or you could go even further and see another area of the country such as Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast.
Buy your Tickets Today
Time is running out to buy your tickets to see the rugby, so if you feel like a last-minute holiday in Italy based around a rugby match or two, buy your tickets soon and start planning your trip.
Photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.