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3/4/5/6 Nations Winners

Tue, 29 Jan 2013 08:20
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Originally it was just two, then it was four, then three, then five, then four, then five and then six. Six is neat - three matches a weekend for five weekends.

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Now it is the Six Nations Champoionship - the International Championship - and it kicks off this  exciting weekend.

It was not always six. Originally it was just two, then it was four, then three, then five, then four, then five and then six. Six is neat - three matches a weekend for five weekends.

Tests started in 1871 when England went up to Edinburgh and played Scotland. Ireland played its first Test in 1875 and Wales in 1881. This led to the start of the International Championship with four teams - England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This became three teams in 1888 and 1889 when England refused to be a part of the IUnternational Rugby Board because they feared loss of their domination of their rugby empire But in 1890 it was back to being four teams.

It stayed Four Nations till France joined in 1910 and then shrunk back to four teams till 1932 when France were kicked out on the grounds that their rugby was brutal and their amateurism dubious. This lasted till World War II when the Four Nations ceased activities. After the war France were back and it remained five teams till 2000 when Italy joined in, making it a neat three matches for each Six Nations match weekend.

For years and years the only tangible trophy amongst these teams was the Calcutta Cup, for matches between England and Scotland since 1875. But in recent times trophies had proliferated. The winner of the championship was just that with no silverware to prove it. There was also the winner of a Triple Crown for the team from the Four Home unions who beat the other three, it was also an idea rather than a tangible trophy. Those became tangible with the Championship Trophy in 1993 and the Triple Crown Trophy, a silver dish, in 2006.

In 1988 England and Ireland started playing for the Millennium Trophy to mark Dublin's millennium. In 1989 Ireland started playing Scotland for the Centenary Quaich and in 2007 France started playing Italy for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy, named in honour of the Italian revolutionary who was born in Nice. Italy won the Garibaldi Trophy in 2010.

Outright Winners of the International Championship

Wales 31
England 29
France: 20
Scotland 19
Ireland 14

Grand Slam Winners

England 13
Wales 9
France 7
Scotland 3
Ireland 2

Triple Crown Winners

England 21
Wales 20
Scotland 10
Ireland 7

The idea of a grand slam comes from cards, and may in fact be from an obsolete word slampant meaning trickery. In cards it means winning tricks - all the tricks at whist or bridge. Win all 13 tricks and you have achieved a grand slam. Win 12 and you have achieved a small, little or minor slam. Golf adopted the idea and then tennis and baseball.

Rugby has come to adopt the idea, but comparatively recently. Then it made such feats retrospective. It became the custom in the Five Nations to apply the term Grand Slam - Grand Chelem in French - to a country which beat the other four countries. Four wins equalled a grand slam.  When Italy joined in, it became the Six Nations and now a grand slam, required five wins.

The Triple Crown is for competion amongst the Four Home Uniuons. Win three matches and you win the Triple Crown.

International Championship Winners

1883: England, Grand Slam
1884: England, Triple Crown
1885: No result
1886: Scotland
1887: Scotland
1888: Ireland with one more try than Scotland or Wales
1889: Scotland
1890: England
1891: Scotland, Triple Crown
1892: England, Triple Crown
1893: Wales, Triple Crown
1894: Ireland, Triple Crown
1895: Scotland, Triple Crown
1896: Ireland
1897: No result
1898: No result
1899: Ireland, Triple Crown
1900: Wales, Triple Crown
1901: Scotland, Triple Crown
1902: Wales, Triple Crown
1903: Scotland, Triple Crown
1904: Scotland
1905: Wales, Triple Crown
1906: Ireland, better points' difference than Wales
1907: Scotland, Triple Crown
1908: Wales, Triple Crown
1909: Wales, Triple Crown
1910: England
1911: Wales, Grand Slam
1912: England, better points' difference than Ireland
1913: England, Grand Slam
1914: England, Grand Slam
1915-1919: No matches
1920: Wales, better points' difference than England & Scotland
1921: England, Grand Slam
1922: Wales
1923: England, Grand Slam
1924: England, Grand Slam
1925: Scotland, Grand Slam
1926: Scotland
1927: Scotland
1928: England, Grand Slam
1929: Scotland
1930: England
1931: Wales
1932: Ireland
1933: Scotland, Triple Crown
1934: England, Triple Crown
1935: Ireland
1936: Wales
1937: England, Triple Crown
1938: Scotland, Triple Crown
1939: Wales, better points' difference than Ireland & England
1940-46: No matches
1947: England
1948: Ireland, Grand Slam
1949: Ireland, Triple Crown
1950: Wales, Grand Slam
1951: Ireland
1952: Wales, Grand Slam
1953: England
1954: Wales, Triple Crown
1955: Wales
1956: Wales
1957: England, Grand Slam
1958: England
1959: France
1960: France, England Triple Crown
1961: France
1962: France
1963: England
1964: Wales, better points' difference than Scotland
1965: Wales, Triple Crown
1966: Wales
1967: France
1968: France, Grand Slam
1969: Wales, Triple Crown
1970: France
1971: Wales, Grand Slam
1972: No result
1973: Scotland, better points' difference than Wales, England, Ireland, France
1974: Ireland
1975: Wales
1976: Wales, Grand Slam
1977: France, Grand Slam, Wales, Triple Crown
1978: Wales, Grand Slam
1979: Wales, Triple Crown
1980: England, Grand Slam
1981: France, Grand Slam
1982: Ireland, Triple Crown
1983: Ireland
1984: Scotland, Grand Slam
1985: Ireland
1986: France, better points' difference than Scotland
1987: France, Grand Slam
1988: Wales, better points' difference than France
1989: France
1990: Scotland, Grand Slam
1991: England, Grand Slam
1992: England, Grand Slam
1993: France
1994: Wales, better points' difference than England
1995: England Grand Slam
1996: England better points' difference than Scotland
1997: France Grand Slam, England, Triple Crown
1998: France Grand Slam, England, Triple Crown
1999: Scotland, better points' difference than England
2000: England
2001: England
2002: France Grand Slam, England Triple Crown
2003: England Grand Slam
2004: France, Ireland Triple Crown
2005: Wales Grand Slam
2006: France, better points' difference than Ireland, Ireland Triple Crown
2007: France, better points’ difference than Ireland, Ireland Triple Crown
2008: Wales Grand Slam
2009: Ireland Grand Slam
2010: France Grand Slam
2011: England
2012: Wales Grand Slam

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