The 2020 Six Nations is already upon us and all of France, Scotland and Italy will be desperate to do markedly better than they managed last year - but what is an achievable level for the sides to aim for?
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The Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is the biggest event in rugby and brings together the very best teams and players in a competition that seeks to find the dominant side in world rugby.
As things stand, New Zealand are the reigning two time champions of the world after winning in 2011 and 2015, with the All Blacks completely dominant over the last few editions of the tournament. However, going into Japan 2019 there is genuine belief that another side could yet displace them and ensure that it is not a third trophy in a row for the side.
Wales, who recently climbed to number one in the world rankings and displaced the All Blacks from the top for the first time in 10 years will feel they have shown more than enough to warrant their hopes of winning the competition. England will also feel they have the right management and group of players to triumph in Japan while all of Ireland, South Africa and Australia will feel they too have a genuine chance of being the side to take the cup away from New Zealand.
The format of the competition will, as always, see teams looking to make it out of one of the two top-places in their group before going into the knock-out stages, with three knock-out wins separating a side from the ultimate rugby glory.
While New Zealand and South Africa will lay claim to being the most-successful side in Rugby World Cup history with three triumphs in eight tournaments, both Australia are not far behind with two wins themselves. However, despite the dominance of the southern-hemisphere in the rugby, perhaps the most famous ever World Cup triumph came when England secured the northern-hemisphere first and only win.
History Of The Rugby World Cup
|1987||New Zealand & Australia||New Zealand 29 France 9||New Zealand|
|1991||Europe||Australia 12 England 6||Australia|
|1995||South Africa||South Africa 15 New Zealand 16 (aet)||South Africa|
|1999||Wales||Australia 35 France 12||Australia|
|2003||Australia||England 20 Australia 17 (aet)||England|
|2007||France||South Africa 15 England 6||South Africa|
|2011||New Zealand||New Zealand 8 France 7||New Zealand|
|2015||England||New Zealand 34 Australia 17||New Zealand|
|2019||Japan||South Africa 32 England 12||South Africa|
Rugby World Cup Titles
|Nations||World Cup Winners||Runners-Up||Third-Place|
|New Zealand||3 (1987, 2011, 2015)||1 (1985)||2 (1981, 2003)|
|South Africa||3 (1995, 2007, 2019)||–||2 (1999, 2015)|
|Australia||2 (1991, 1999)||2 (2003, 2015)||1 (2011)|
|England||1 (2003)||2 (1991, 2007, 2019)||–|
|France||–||3 (1987, 1999, 2011)||1 (1995)|
The Six Nations
The Six Nations is the biggest yearly international rugby event in the northern-hemisphere, with the best six sides in Europe taking each other on in a round-robing tournament. The competition sees England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland France and Italy do battle over five game weekends, with a number of major trophies up for grabs.
The first and biggest title on offer is the Grand Slam. The Grand Slam is won by defeating every single one of the other five nations. If a side is able to get through the gruelling fixtures without tasting defeat then they are crowned the Grand Slam champions, with this a huge feat considering a side will have to usually beat two world class sides on their own turd throughout the tournament.
The next trophy that a side is able to secure is the Championship title. This title is awarded to a side that finishes with the most points at the end of the tournament but was unable to defeat every single one of the other sides. If England were to beat Ireland, France, Scotland and Italy but lose to Wales then they would win the championship, but they would miss out on the Grand Slam by virtue of that loss to Wales.
The next trophy is the Triple Crown. This trophy is only contested by England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, the teams from the United Kingdom. This trophy, like the Grand Slam, can only be secured if one of the four sides beats all of the other three, with the bragging rights for a whole year secured if one of the four UK based teams can beat the other three.
The final “trophy” is the wooden spoon. This is awarded to the side that finishes at the bottom of the table with the least amount of points after the five matches. This unwanted accolade usually goes to Italy, who have been far below the standard of the other five for some time now, with Scotland’s recent improvements seeing this gap between Italy and the other five one that is growing larger by the game.
Six Nations Championship Since 2000
|Year||Grand Slam Champion||Champion||Triple Crown||Wooden Spoon|
Six Nations Titles Since 2000
|Nation||Grand Slams||Last Grand Slam||Triple Crowns||Wooden Spoons|