Six Nations Preview France Favourites For 2022 Tournament

This coming weekend, the 2022 Six Nations Rugby Union Tournament will get underway with the first round of games taking place across Saturday and Sunday.

The annual tournament sees six teams from Europe competing to land the famous trophy and with the 2023 Rugby World Cup very much on the horizon, it will serve as a useful barometer for fans to see how their team are shaping up with one eye on that tournament too.

Betting on the Six Nations is always very popular and we are going to give you the latest Six Nations betting odds for the six team competing, as well as exploring a little more about the tournament, the teams that compete in it and we will also give you the full set of fixtures for the event.

This should allow you to then check out bet365 Sport and it’s In Play betting service if you so desire.

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Let’s now learn a little more about the tournament in general, before we specifically focus in on this year’s tournament.

What Is The Six Nations?

The Six Nations actually began as a tournament back in 1883, with the four original teams competing in the event being England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

This was the first ever international rugby tournament and the competition was contested initially from 1883 to 1909, but by 1910, the decision to expand the tournament was made, with France being allocated a place in the 1910 tournament when it became known as the Five Nations.

The Five Nations remained in place until 1931, when France then dropped out of the tournament and then from 1932 to 1939, it became the Home Nations tournament once again.

After World War II, the tournament was revived as the Five Nations in 1947 and remained that way right the way through until 1999.

At this point, the Italian team, which had qualified for several World Cup competitions, then became part of the group, making the tournament the Six Nations, a title which it has held to the present day.

Rivalry Trophies Contested

Alongside the main Six Nations trophy, a number of other rivalry trophies are contested between each of the teams on an annual basis.

These trophies and the teams that contest them are outlined below:

  • Calcutta Cup – Contested since 1879, this trophy, made from melted-down rupees donated by the Calcutta Club, is contested each year between England and Scotland.
  • Millennium Trophy – First contested in 1988 to celebrate Dublin’s Millennium, this trophy is contested between England and Ireland.
  • Centenary Quaich – First contested in 1989, this rivalry trophy is contested each year by Ireland and Scotland.
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy – Contested by France and Italy, this trophy was inaugurated in 2007 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Garibaldi, a famous revolutionary in both countries.
  • Auld Alliance Trophy – First contested in 2018, this game between France and Scotland commemotrates the war dead from the rugby communities of both countries.
  • Doddie Weir Cup – Also contested in 2018 for the first time between Wales and Scotland, the trophy is in recognition of former Scottish international Doddie Weir who founded the My Name’s Doddie Foundation to support research into Motor Neurone’s disease.

In addition, teams can also win the Triple Crown, which is available for the four Home Nations teams to contest and any team that wins all three game against their Home Nations will win this title.

The Grand Slam is also contested and is awarded to any team that wins all five of their games in the tournament in any given year.

At the other end of the scale, the Wooden Spoon is given, metaphorically, to the team that finishes bottom of the table. Since Italy joined the tournament in 2000, they have only avoided the Wooden Spoon on six occasions.

Most Tournament Victories

Every country, bar Italy, has won the tournament at least once. Ireland, Wales and Scotland are the only countries to have appeared in all 127 tournaments so far, England missed two in the 1880s due to refusing to join the International Rugby Football Board at that time. England have 125 appearances, with 92 for France and 22 for Italy.

In terms who has won the trophy the most, total wins, either individually or shared, are shown in this table:

  • England – 39 Wins (29 individual, 10 shared)
  • Wales – 39 Wins (28 individual, 11 shared)
  • France – 25 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 successful Grand Slams, England lead the way with 13 ahead of Wales on 12, followed by France on 9 with Scotland and Ireland having 3 Grand Slam’s each.

England also lead the way with Triple Crown victories with 26, Wales are second with 22, Ireland third with 11 and Scotland are last with 10.

Ireland have received the Wooden Spoon on 25 times, though none in the Six Nations era. Scotland have had the dubious honour 24 times, England 17, France 10, Wales 9. Italy have 16 but those have come from just 22 tournaments.

Tournament Format

Each team in the Six Nations plays five games, starting in early February and leading up to Super Saturday in mid-March which will see the final three games contested and, usually, the tournament winners decided.

In even years, France, Ireland and Wales play three home matches, while England, Italy and Scotland have just two games at home. In odd years, this is reversed with England, Italy and Scotland having three matches at home, and France, Ireland and Wales playing just two at home.

Furthermore, the opponents each team face at home in the odd and even years is pre-determined, to ensure each team faces their opponent at home and away over a two-year period.

  • Points System

Prior to 2017, the tournament saw two points awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. But in 2016, the tournament organisers changed this, by introducing a bonus point system and reviewing the points awarded per result.

The new system saw 0 points for a loss, 2 for a draw and 4 for a win, plus bonus points awarded for a team scoring four or more tries in a match, or losing by seven points or fewer. Additionally, if a team wins a Grand Slam, then they also receive 3 bonus points.

Six Nations 2022 Fixture Schedule

Week 1 – 5th & 6th February

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

Week 2 – 12th & 13th February

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

Week 3 – 26th & 27th February

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

Week 4 – 11th & 12th March

  • Wales v France (8.00pm)
  • Italy v Scotland (3.15pm – Sun)
  • England v Ireland (4.45pm – Sun)

Super Saturday – 19th March

  • Wales v Italy (2.15pm)
  • Ireland v Scotland (4.45pm)
  • France v England (8pm)

Current Six Nations Odds – Overall Winner

France lead the way with bet365 Sport as the 6/4 favourites ahead of this weekend’s tournament. England are a close second at 11/4, with Ireland 3/1. They are the three main favourites to win the tournament with Wales and Scotland both rated at 10/1 and Italy the massive outsiders at 1000/1.

Wales are the current holders and won the Triple Crown and Doddie Weir Cup last season too.

With all games shown live on terrestrial TV, it is easy to tune in and enjoy some fantastic pre-match and In Play betting on all 15 games in the tournament over the coming weeks.

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