The Six Nations Championship, or the Guinness Six Nations (as they are sponsored by the Irish stout manufacturer), stands for the annual international men’s rugby competition among England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. As an American living in London in 2019, I became witness to the novelty of rugby due to my exposure to the sport by some Irish friends of mine; we spent a few weekends in February cheering for Ireland at local pubs. Over a couple of pints of Guinness and platters of Belfast full breakfasts, we watched Ireland make their way through the championship! I even had the opportunity to watch Ireland play Wales from a traditional pub in Dublin. Although I’m still rusty on my rugby knowledge, every year, I can’t wait to watch the Guinness Six Nations. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, here’s how to prepare for the 2021 Six Nations Championship from the safety of your home.
- The Important Moments in Ireland’s Sporting History
- Irish Rugby’s 8 Most Memorable Autumn Internationals
- A Beginner’s Guide to the GAA: An Outsider’s Perspective
What’s the Championship’s History & Competition?
Since the Five Nations Championship (first contested by England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) became the Six Nations in 2000, England has won seven men’s titles. France and Wales have won five, while Ireland has won four titles. England is the most successful team in the overall history of the championship, having enjoyed 29 outright successes. England has won 13 Grand Slams since the tournament’s inception, one more than Wales.
Where Can I Watch It on Television?
Wondering where you can watch the Six Nations wherever you are in the world? According to World Rugby, “television coverage of the men’s tournament in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, while Wales’ matches are also shown on S4C. Fans in Ireland can also access the action on Virgin Media, while in France the Championship is shown on France 2, and via DMAX in Italy.” If you’re outside those domains like I am, there are a few International rights for the Six Nations through the following broadcasters: ESPN, NBC Sports, and SuperSport.
So, make your way to the shop and pick up some Guinness and get the crisps bowls going to last you a month – I can bet a pretty penny we’ll be glued to our (couch) seats watching the live action from the comfort of our homes.
How Can I Accompany the Matches?
- Get your hands on some Guinness (only fair to support the sponsorship, as well as Ireland’s most well-known stout giant)
- Prepare your comfort meal
- Wear your rugby attire proudly
- Decorate your home in the colours of your team
- England → Paolo Odogwu
- Impressions: quick pace, powerful bursts
- France → Arthur Vincent
- Impressions: left-hand man to Virimi Vakatawa who lost his spot in the championship due to a knee injury
- Ireland → Hugo Keenan
- Impressions: scored two tried in an outstanding display against Italy in the re-arranged Round 4 game that took place in October; lightning quick; strong in the air
- Italy → Niccolo Cannone
- Impressions: made his championship breakthrough last year with highly-praised series of skilled displays and movements during matches
- Scotland → Cameron Redpath
- Impressions: adept at fly-half and full-back
- Wales → Louis Rees-Zammit
- Impressions: made a golden debut in the autumn against France
When Are the Matches?
- 6 February 2021 at 2:15 PM Irish time: Italy vs. France
- 6 February 2021 at 4:45 PM Irish time: England vs. Scotland
- 7 February 2021 at 3:00 PM Irish time: Wales vs. Ireland
The opening matches of the men’s Six Nations 2021 championship are scheduled to be played on 6 February 2021. Italy will host France in Rome, and Scotland will battle last year’s winner, England, at Twickenham. Wales is scheduled to play Ireland at the Principality Stadium 24 hours later. Go Ireland!