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10 things to know about the Six Nations Championship


The Six Nations is a rugby competition to XV, held annually since 1882 between February and March by teams of England, Scotland, France, Ireland, Italy and Wales.

Discover 10 things to know about this annual rugby competition:

1 - The tournament was not always played between 6 nations

Originally, this tournament was called the Home Nations Championship (or Four Nations Championship) between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. A 100% British tournament until the arrival of France in the competition in 1910. The tournament then became the Five Nations Championship. In 2000, with the first participation of Italy, the tournament changed its name again to become the Six Nations Championship.

Six Nations

2 - It was the 20th anniversary of the tournament in 2019

In 2019, the tournament celebrated its 125th edition and its 20th anniversary under the name of Six Nations Tournament!

This year, the competition takes place from February 5 to March 19, 2022. As every year, the competition takes place over five days spread over seven weeks.

3 - Guinness is the official sponsor

For sponsorship reasons, the tournament was officially named RBS Six Nations from 1999 to 2017. In 2018, the Royal Bank of Scotland gave way to the English bank National Westminster Bank and gave the tournament the official name of NatWest Six Nations.

Since 2019, the official sponsor is no longer a bank but the Guinness brand! The tournament officially takes the name "Guinness Six Nations" in English. Guinness will be the official sponsor of this competition until 2024.

Guinness Six Nations

4 - The most beautiful prize returns to England

England are the nation with the most titles with 39 wins, equaled by Wales in 2021. In third position in the standings, we find France with 25 wins. Ireland and Scotland are tied with 22 wins each. Italy have never won this tournament yet.

5 - The Grand Slam principle of rugby union

A Grand Slam is a term used when a team wins all of its matches at the Six Nations Championship. This expression can be used for any other competition running on a system identical to this tournament. The term Grand Slam is also used at the Roland Garros tennis tournament.

Six Nations

6 - Canterbury is the official equipment supplier of Ireland

Canterbury shares the values of rugby: the love and passion of this sport for a very wide audience. It is in this perspective that the brand has become the official equipment supplier of the Irish team after being the supplier of the All Blacks team for many decades.


2018 jersey of the Irish team

7 - France was excluded from the tournament

In 1910, France joined the competition. Unfortunately in 1931, the team was excluded from the tournament for lack of professionalism (payment of players, inter-club recruitment...) and because of their violent game in some matches. France was again admitted to the championship in 1939 after an agreement was reached between the French Rugby Federation and the other delegations in 1932. However, World War II did not allow the tournament to take place until 1947.

8 - Matches are always played in the same stadiums

With a few exceptions, all matches have been played in the same stadiums since the tournament was launched. They take place every year in these stages:
- Twickenham Stadium in London (82 000 seats)

- Stade de France in Saint-Denis (81 338 seats)

- Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (74 500 seats)

- Olympic Stadium in Rome (72 698 seats)

- Murrayfield Stadium in Édimbourg (67 130 seats)

- Aviva Stadium in Dublin (51 700 seats)


9 - A tournament not only for men...

There has also been a female version of the Six Nations Championship since 1996 as well as a junior version for under 20 years old, created in 2008. The women's tournament is played on the same dates and meets the same six nations.

Women team

10 - Best performance for Jonny Wilkinson

England team player Jonny Wilkinson has the best individual performance in 6 Nations tournaments. He scored 89 points in the 2011 edition, 78 points in 2000, 77 points in 2003 and 75 points in 2002.

Bonus - To accompany your matches

To watch the matches of the Six Nations Tournament and other sports competitions throughout the year, find our selection of aperitifs and snacks.


Discover our aperitif range ►

Article written by Manon C.

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