Six Nations Starts On Saturday – Tournament Preview, Betting Tips And FAQs

This weekend, one of the annual big sports events of the winter calendar will get underway once again as the sextet of teams that make up the Northern Hemisphere’s premiere rugby competition, the Six Nations, will get underway.

Last year, France claimed the trophy ahead of Ireland in what was an open and intriguing competition that saw no team go unbeaten in the event and a number of exciting and surprising games.

This year, the action promises to be just as exciting, especially with the forthcoming Rugby World Cup on the horizon, with all teams looking to build for that event which starts in the autumn this year.

Of course, the Six Nations is another sporting event that attracts plenty of interest from punters and Bet365 Sport offers an expansive range of markets on every game, as well as a great selection of outright betting markets on the tournament as a whole.

And remember, with the 2023 Rugby World Cup coming up in France later this year, now is a great time to sign up and get to know the site.

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Six Nations Tournament

Before the Six Nations began, there were two previous tournaments, the first was the Four Nations, which started back in 1883 and featured the four Home Nations teams – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

By 1910, with interest in the tournament growing overseas as well as at home, the four RFU’s of the Home Nations agreed to admit France into the tournament and from 1910 to 1931, the tournament became known as the Five Nations.

When France dropped out between 1931 and 1939, the tournament reverted to the Four Nations, but after the Second World War, the tournament was revived in 1947 with France included once again.

That remained the case until 1999, when Italy were admitted into the tournament which made up the Six Nations.

There are now discussions ongoing about whether the tournament could be expanded to include other European Nations that have a strong rugby heritage, such as Georgia and Romania, although at present nothing on those grounds has been decided.

Who Has Won The Most Six Nations?

Wales, Ireland and Scotland have appeared in every Six Nations since the tournament began, with England competing in all but two. France have competed 93 times and Italy 23.

In terms of wins, the current standings are:

  • England – 39 Wins (29 individual, 10 shared)
  • Wales – 39 Wins (28 individual, 11 shared)
  • France – 26 Wins (17 individual, 8 shared)
  • Ireland – 22 Wins (14 individual, 8 shared)
  • Scotland – 22 Wins (14 individual, 8 shared)
  • Italy – 0 Wins

In terms of Grand Slam wins the standings read:

  • England – 13
  • Wales – 12
  • France – 9
  • Scotland – 3
  • Ireland – 3
  • Italy – 0

And Triple Crown victories sees the list as follows:

  • England – 26
  • Wales – 22
  • Ireland – 11
  • Scotland – 10

Currently in the World Rankings for Rugby Union teams, the Six Nations are ranked as follows:

  • Ireland – 1st
  • France – 2nd
  • England – 5th
  • Scotland – 7th
  • Wales – 9th
  • Italy – 12th

The Six Nations 2023 – Fixtures & Rivalry Matches

Alongside the Six Nations trophy, a Grand Slam and the Triple Crown, there are also six rivalry games that are played throughout the Six Nations tournament each year.

These are games for which a trophy will be awarded to the winning team to celebrate the links between the two teams and their shared Rugby and social history.

We have outlined when these rivalry games will be played alongside the full set of games for the 2023 Six Nations tournament below:

Week 1 – 4th & 5th February

  • Wales v Ireland (2.15pm)
  • England v Scotland (4.45pm) – The Calcutta Cup
  • Italy v France (3pm – Sun) – The Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy

Week 2 – 11th & 12th February

  • Ireland v France (2.15pm)
  • Scotland v Wales (4.45pm) – Doddie Weir Cup
  • England v Italy (3pm – Sun)

Week 3 – 25th & 26th February

  • Italy v Ireland (2.15pm)
  • Wales v England (4.45pm)
  • France v Scotland (3pm – Sun) – The Auld Alliance Trophy

Week 4 – 11th & 12th March

  • Italy v Wales (2.15pm)
  • England v France (4.45pm)
  • Scotland v Ireland (3.00pm – Sun) – The Centenary Quaich

Super Saturday – 18th March

  • Scotland v Italy (12.30pm)
  • France v Wales (2.45pm)
  • Ireland v England (5pm) – The Millennium Trophy

Six Nations Points System

Up until recent times, the Six Nations just awarded two points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss.

However, a revamp of the points system in 2016 saw the addition of bonus points, as well as an increase in the points available to be won by each team in each game.

Now, teams can earn points in the following ways:

  • 4 Points for a Win
  • 2 Points for a Draw
  • 0 Points for a Loss
  • 1 Point if a team scores 4 or more tries (regardless of if they win or lose)
  • 1 Point if a team loses a match by 7 points or fewer.
  • 3 Points if a team wins the Grand Slam.

The 3 Points for a team landing the Grand Slam was added to ensure that any team that does the Grand Slam wins the Six Nations, as otherwise it would be possible for a team to do the Grand Slam but still finish second on points due to another team picking up enough extra bonus points in their other games.

Who Are The Bookies Backing To Win The 2023 Six Nations Tournament?

Well given that Ireland and France are number 1 and 2 in the World Rankings at present, ahead of the likes of South Africa and New Zealand, it is not surprising to see that these two teams are the most well-fancied in this event in the pre-tournament betting.

Currently, the tournament outright winner odds with bet365 are as follows:

  • Ireland – 13/10 favourites
  • France – 15/8
  • England – 4/1
  • Wales – 10/1
  • Scotland – 18/1
  • Italy – 500/1

You can also get Ireland at 3/1 and France at 4/1 to complete a Grand Slam in the tournament. England, in contrast are 8/1 to do likewise.

For the four home nations, Ireland are 5/4 to win the Triple Crown with England distant 5/1, Wales 11/1 and Scotland the 18/1 outsiders to beat all three other home nations.

Our Tip

I can see two teams dominating this years Six Nations, Ireland and France but the key for me here is that Ireland take on France on home soil and that is why I am going to back Ireland to not only win the Six Nations, but also the Grand Slam and the Triple Crown.

The action kicks off on Saturday with Wales taking on Ireland in Cardiff, so remember to tune in and get your bets on before the action starts!

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