- The Six Nations is the oldest rugby championship in the world
- The close proximity between the Home Nations fuels the strong rivalries
- Fans are what makes the Six Nations so special
Second only in importance to the Rugby World Cup, the Six Nations Championship is perhaps one of the most significant rugby competitions in the Northern hemisphere. This year, the Championship will see two new coaches, three new captains and a host of new players but it’s the old rivalries that date back more than 140 years, which makes the tournament so special.
Our expert panel consists of:
Nick Heath (Commentator)
Jamie Hosie (The Rugby Blog)
Owain Jones (Rugby World)
Lynne Cantwell (Ex-Ireland International)
Ben Coles (Planet Rugby)
Charlie Morgan (Sport Magazine)
NH – Nick Heath
LC – Lynne Cantwell
JH – Jamie Hosie
CM – Charlie Morgan
OJ – Owain Jones
BC – Ben Coles
NH: Well guys, great to have you all here. Thank you very much for joining me. A lot of excitement as the Six Nations is about to start of course. We know it’s pretty special because of a lot of the rivalries because of how old the tournament is. What do you guys think of some of the things that really make it special?
OJ: Well I think it’s just as you say, you’ve just hit the nail on the head. It’s the national rivalries. It’s the kind of, the banter for want of a better word that goes out in the week preceding again. It’s the kind of rich kind of emotion and passion that’s kind of taken out on the field and taken out in the bars afterwards. It just is something that is handed down from generation to generation of families.
NH: Is it still the Celts against the Saxons? Does still have that sense to it?
CM: I’m sure I think, one of the most, if you kind of take that rivalry and put it into another context it’s still almost special. I think of the World Group game between England and Wales just recently, that was elevated because of that special tribalism and it was just fantastic. It was like no other atmosphere I can remember at almost at a sporting event.
JH: I think it’s such a close knit tournament juts because of the kind of geographical proximity almost of, especially the home nations. You can get to away matches so easily. So there’s always a brilliant atmosphere because there’s always tons of away fans there. And that’s what makes it different to say, you know the Southern Hemisphere tournaments and stuff like that.
NH: And it’s also there’s something about Rugby as well isn’t it that the social nature of it means that come win or lose you’re still there to have as much of a good day out as the opponents, whether they beat you or whether you’ve beaten them.
LC: Yeah, I think that that’s just rugby. I think there’s something special about this Six Nations because there is just the whole kind of theme of Northern Hemisphere-Southern Hemisphere. So this Six Nations all of the Northern Hemisphere teams are trying to prove that we are still equal if not better than the Southern Hemisphere teams. So that’s probably gonna bring a little bit of a difference this time.
NH: Yeah post World Cup pride to be salvaged…
NH: ...do you think?
LC: That’s it.
OJ: Yeah certainly and what is very special and we talked about handing it down in the generations but it is, if you’ve got fans going to Murrayfield, they’re also going to Edinburgh, going to Dublin, going to Twickenham, they’re you know travelling fans will literally book up two years in advance. It’ll be see you in two years, see you in two years. And that’s something really special and I’m sure there’s been lots of Celtic kind of Anglo Saxon unions have been kind of made over the…the many years in Six…in Six Nations and Five Nations history because it, again, it is a real rugby family event and you know and a massively successful one.