The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition that takes place between England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The tournament was founded in 1883 and was originally contested between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. France joined in 1910 and Italy became the sixth member in 2000.
The Championship is played over 15 match days, with each team playing the other teams once. Two points are awarded for a win and one point for a draw. The team that finishes top of the table after all matches are played wins the Championship and is presented with the Six Nations trophy.
The 2024 Guinness Six Nations Championship began on February 4th and will conclude on March 18th. A total of 15 matches are scheduled to take place in iconic venues across Europe. The tournament is eagerly anticipated by rugby fans each year and widely considered the greatest annual rugby competition in the northern hemisphere.
Ireland v Wales
Ireland will host Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday 24th February 2024. Kick-off is scheduled for 2:15pm.
The match will be televised live on ITV and S4C in the UK and RTÉ in the Republic of Ireland.
Andrea Piardi of Italy has been appointed as the referee for this Six Nations clash.
The Aviva Stadium is Ireland’s largest sporting arena, with a capacity of 51,700 spectators. The state-of-the-art venue opened in 2010 on the site of the former Lansdowne Road ground.
This will be the 135th rugby test match between Ireland and Wales. Their first encounter was back in 1882.
Ireland and Wales last met during the 2023 Six Nations Championship at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 4th February 2023. Ireland emerged victorious with an emphatic 34-10 bonus point win over Wales.
Ireland got off to a strong start with Mack Hansen crossing over for the first try of the match in the 8th minute. Johnny Sexton successfully converted the try to give Ireland an early 7-0 lead. Wales responded with a penalty kick from captain Dan Biggar in the 15th minute to reduce the deficit to 7-3. However, Ireland continued to dominate and scored two more first half tries through Garry Ringrose and Caelan Doris. Sexton converted both tries as Ireland went into the break leading 21-3.
The second half saw Ireland pick up from where they left off in the first. Andrew Conway scored Ireland’s bonus point try just 3 minutes after the restart. Sexton maintained his perfect goal kicking record to stretch Ireland’s lead to 28-3. Wales got a consolation try through Louis Rees-Zammit in the 60th minute which Biggar converted, but there was to be no comeback. Ireland emphatically sealed the win with two late tries from substitutes Peter O’Mahony and Ryan Baird.
It was a commanding performance from Ireland, who ran in six tries in total and kept Wales tryless in the first half. Sexton was flawless with the boot, converting all six tries. For Wales, it was a disappointing start to their 2023 campaign as they were outplayed for large periods of the match.
Ireland and Wales have contested a total of 134 rugby test matches since their first meeting in 1882.
- Wales have won 70 of those matches
- Ireland have won 57 matches
- There have also been 7 drawn matches between the two nations
The head-to-head record shows a close rivalry between the two nations over their long history of test matches. With Wales winning the majority of contests, they hold the edge historically. However, with Ireland winning 57 matches out of 134, they have put up a strong challenge over the years. The 7 drawn tests also highlight how competitive many of the matches have been. Fans will likely see another intense battle when the teams meet again for their 135th test on February 24th 2024.
Scotland v England
Scotland and England will do battle for the Calcutta Cup when they meet at the Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 24th February during the third round of the 2024 Six Nations Championship.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 4:45pm and will be televised live on BBC (UK) and Virgin Media (ROI).
The Calcutta Cup has been awarded to the winner of the Scotland v England rugby union match since 1879. The trophy was originally made from melted-down silver rupees and was presented to the Rugby Football Union by the Calcutta Cup Club.
Scotland have won their last three meetings with England, including a 29-23 victory at Twickenham during the 2023 Championship. This will likely provide extra motivation for England as they look to reclaim the Calcutta Cup.
The two nations first played each other in 1871 in the world’s first ever international rugby match. Since then, they have contested 141 test matches against each other. The overall head-to-head record sees England leading with 76 wins compared to Scotland’s 46 victories. There have also been 19 draws between the sides.
This long-standing rivalry is always a highly anticipated fixture in the Six Nations calendar. With the Calcutta Cup on the line, both teams will be fired up to claim bragging rights and score an important victory.
The two rivals last met on February 4th, 2023 at Twickenham Stadium in London during the previous Six Nations Championship. In a thrilling match, Scotland emerged victorious by 29-23 over England.
The first half was a tight contest between the two sides. England got on the scoreboard first with a penalty kick from captain Owen Farrell in the 5th minute to take a 3-0 lead. However, Scotland responded quickly with a well-worked try from fullback Stuart Hogg in the 9th minute, converted by Finn Russell, to go up 7-3. England bounced back with a converted try of their own from winger Jonny May in the 24th minute to retake the lead 10-7. Both sides traded penalties before the half ended with England clinging to a 16-13 lead.
The second half saw Scotland take control of the match. Flanker Jamie Ritchie crashed over for a critical try in the 46th minute, with Russell’s conversion putting Scotland back in front 20-16. England kept it close with another Farrell penalty in the 60th minute, but were unable to stop the Scottish momentum. Centre Huw Jones sealed the Scottish victory with a beautifully executed try in the 71st minute, with Russell’s conversion stretching the lead to 29-19. A late England try from replacement Alex Dombrandt made it 29-23, but Scotland held on in a tense finish to claim their third straight Calcutta Cup win over England.
Ireland and Wales have contested a total of 134 rugby test matches since their first meeting in 1882. Of the 134 matches played between the two nations:
- Wales have won 70 matches
- Ireland have won 57 matches
- There have been 7 drawn matches
The 134 meetings between Ireland and Wales is the second-highest number of test matches between two European nations, behind only the 141 meetings between England and Scotland.
The first test match between Ireland and Wales was played on 25 February 1882 at the Irishtown Ground in Dublin. Ireland won that inaugural match by a score of 18 points to 8.
Ireland and Wales have an extensive history of competitive matches. Their rivalry began in the early days of international rugby and continues to this day as an integral part of the Six Nations Championship each year.
France v Italy
France will face Italy at the Decathlon Arena in Lille on Sunday 25th February during the third round of the 2024 Six Nations Championship.
The match will kick off at 3:00pm GMT and will be televised live on ITV in the UK and RTÉ in the Republic of Ireland.
The winner of this match will be presented with the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy, which was first awarded in 2007. The trophy was most recently won by France following their 29-24 victory over Italy during the 2023 Six Nations Championship.
France and Italy have contested 48 rugby test matches since their first meeting in 1937. France have won 45 of those encounters, with Italy only managing three wins.
France secured an emphatic 29-24 victory against Italy during the third round of last season’s Six Nations at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
Les Bleus outscored Italy four tries to three with new captain Antoine Dupont crossing for two of his side’s tries.
Fullback Thomas Ramos also registered 13 points with the boot in an excellent individual performance.
Italy battled valiantly in defeat but couldn’t recover after conceding two tries in the opening 11 minutes of the match.
The Azzurri ran in four-try thriller against Wales in the second round last year, but struggled to contain France’s attacking threat.
Overall Head to Head
Ireland and Wales have contested a total of 134 rugby test matches since their first meeting in 1882. Of the 134 matches played between the two nations, Wales have won 70, whilst Ireland have won 57. The remaining 7 matches ended in draws.
The 134 test matches makes this one of the most played international rugby rivalries. The games are always hard-fought contests between two passionate rugby nations. With Wales holding a slight edge historically, Ireland will be keen to continue closing the gap and winning more of these crunch ties.Sources Six Nations Guide