Six Nations 2021 team guide
February 6, 2021 - March 20, 2021 - The Six Nations, the northern hemisphere’s premier rugby union tournament kicks off. England, who recovered from an opening day defeat to become champions in 2020, kick off their campaign with a Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland at Twickenham, while France travel to Rome to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico. The following day, Wales host Ireland at the Millennium Stadium.
The Six Nations Championship is played each year between England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Each team plays every other team over five rounds, a total of 15 matches, with home advantage alternating between seasons.
The 2021 Championship begins amid concerns that the tournament may need to be suspended, with rising coronavirus cases in Europe and the newly-found, more transmissible variant established in the United Kingdom. France have agreed to travel to Rome for their opener against Italy, but the French government has cast doubt on away clashes with England and Ireland. With the Top14 and European competitions currently halted, whether the tournament is completed as scheduled could hinge on Covid-19 cases being brought under control in the coming weeks -- the championship is due to run until March 20.
The tournament began in 1883 between the four “home” nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, with France joining in 1910 and Italy in 2000 to give the current six nations.
Under the umbrella of the tournament there are individual competitions such as the Calcutta Cup match (contested between England and Scotland since 1879), the Millennium Trophy (England and Ireland, since 1988), the Centenary Quaich (Ireland and Scotland, since 1989), and the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy (France and Italy, since 1988). The Triple Crown is awarded to a home nation that beats the other three home nations. If a team wins all of its five matches they win a “Grand Slam”.
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