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The start of the annual Six Nations’ tournament for men begins in two weeks on Saturday, February 6 with two contests, and concludes Sunday, February 7.
The tournament represents the first test matches since autumn’s Rugby World Cup, when the four southern hemisphere nations dominated play. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina achieved seven wins with no defeats against the Six Nations’ teams, outscoring their northern opponents 245-121.
The RWC results:
Australia 33 – England 13
Australia 15 – Wales 6
South Africa 34 – Scotland 16
Australia 35 – Scotland 34
Argentina 43 – Ireland 20
South Africa 23 – Wales 19
New Zealand 62 – France 13
No matter how well nations performed in past Six Nations event since the World Cup of 2011 in New Zealand, their successes did not translate into World Cup wins. Most disappointing were Ireland who won in 2014 and 2015, and were blown out by plucky Argentina in this year’s quarter finals. Hapless Ireland have never advanced to the semis in any past World Cup.
The main event for these northern nations remains this Six Nations tournament. The first ever international occurred between Scotland and England in 1871. The initial four Home Countries started play in 1883. France joined in 1921, and Italy in 2000.
So, with World Cup Japan 2019 three-years away, the six fifteens must concentrate on this Six Nations event, admittedly, if only for European bragging rights.
(Tomorrow, Women’s Six Nations preview.)