Six Nations Betting

The annual Six Nations championship, which is currently sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland and referred to as “RBS 6 Nations,” is an international rugby union competition. It involves six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

The Six Nations is the successor to the first international rugby union tournament in the Northern Hemisphere—the Home Nations Championship, founded by England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 1883. When France officially joined the competition in 1910, it became known as the Five Nations Championship.

During World War I, competition was suspended. Then, France were ejected from the tournament from 1932 to 1939, and the tournament was again referred to as the Home Nations. Following another hiatus for World War II, play resumed in 1947 with France welcomed backed into the fold. Italy did not become a part of the competition until 2000, when the event became known as the Six Nations.

As major international tournaments go, the format for the Six Nations is exceedingly simple. Each team plays every other team once. Home field advantage alternates between them from one year to the next. Two points are gained for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss. No bonus points are awarded, and the side with the highest point total at the conclusion of all matches is the champion.

Ante post betting on the outright winner is very popular. Over the years and through all of the changes, England have come out on top with 26 total championships, followed by Wales with 24. France have 17 titles to their credit, while Scotland have posted 14 and Ireland claim eleven. Italy are still waiting for their first trophy.

When a team manages to win all of its games in the year’s tournament, they are said to have completed a “Grand Slam.” Most bookmakers offer this as a market, with relatively high odds. Currently, England hold the record for the most Grand Slams won with twelve. Following them are Wales with ten, France with nine, Scotland with three and Ireland with two.

Another special aspect of the Six Nations competition is the possibility of achieving a “Triple crown.” That occurs when one of the Home Nation sides defeats all three of the others. Again, betting on this phenomenon is possible.

To date, England have the record for most Triple crowns won with 23, then come Wales with 20 and Ireland and Scotland with ten each. In 2006, a special trophy was commissioned by RBS to be awarded to any Home Nation that accomplishes this feat.

When the tournament concludes, the team finishing at the bottom of the table is said to have won the “Wooden Spoon.” Also, any team that loses all five matches is said to have been “whitewashed.” Bets may be placed on both of these dubious achievements.

Under the umbrella of the tournament, a number of other special competitions take place, each of which is subject to wagering. For example, the oldest rivalry is between England and Scotland. In their heads-up match, they compete for Calcutta Cup, a regular feature since 1879. The trophy itself was made from melted-down Indian Rupees.

Starting in 1988, the Millennium Trophy has claimed by the winner of the contest between England and Ireland. And since 2007, France and Italy have had their own competition for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the unifier of Italy who was born in Nice, France in 1807.

Originally, if two teams finished the tournament with the same number of points, they shared the trophy, but since 1994 ties have been broken by taking into account the points difference of the teams. If teams tie on both match points and points difference, the one that scored the most tries wins the championship. To date, however, match points and points difference have been sufficient to decide the winner.

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