The Six Nations Rugby Championship is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. It is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The fixtures for the 2015 Tournament have been announced.
The Six Nations is the successor to the Five Nations Championship (1910–31 and 1947–99) which in turn succeeded the Home Nations Championship (1883–1909 and 1932–39). The Home Nations Championship, played between teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, was the first international rugby union tournament. The winners of the Six Nations Championship are sometimes unofficially referred to in the media as the European Champions or Northern Hemisphere Champions. Ireland are the 2014 champions, having finished on equal points with England but winning the trophy by virtue of achieving a higher points tally over the five games.
England and Wales are the joint record holders for outright wins of the Home Nations, Five Nations and Six Nations tournaments, with 26 titles each, although Wales add to that record with 12 shared victories to England’s 10. Since the Six Nations era started in 2000, only Italy and Scotland have failed to win the Six Nations title, although Scotland were the last outright winners of the Five Nations.
The 2015 Six Nations Championship, known as the 2015 RBS 6 Nations because of the tournament’s sponsorship by the Royal Bank of Scotland, will be the 16th series of the Six Nations Championship, the annual northern hemisphere rugby union championship. It will be contested by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Including the competition’s previous incarnations as the Home Nations Championship and Five Nations Championship, it will be the 121st edition of the tournament.
The reigning champions are Ireland who won the 2014 championship on points difference from England thanks to their final day 22-20 victory over France in Paris. England won the Triple Crown by beating Wales, Scotland and Ireland – they became the first team to win the Triple Crown while another of the Home Nations won the championship outright.
The winners of this edition will be the first to hold onto a re-designed trophy.