Tournament of the six nations
The Tournament of the six nations , usually called the Tournament in France, is a disputed competition of Rugby to XV each year by the teams of England, of Scotland, France, the Wales, Ireland and Italy. He inherits the Five Nations tournament , in which Italy did not take part, which had succeeded itself that of the four nations, which, starting from 1882-1883, was a purely British tournament with matches which opposed England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. France was allowed in 1910 then Italy in 2000.
There exists also a female version of the Tournament of the six nations, but when the expression is employed without precision, it always refers to the original tournament.
the winner of the test carries out a large slam when it demolishes all the other teams of the Tournament. In the continuation of the article, GC means Grand Slam .
The team of Ireland of Rugby is a selection of players of the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. She is made up of the best players of Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. This participation common of the Irishmen to the Tournament could be preserved with the passing of years, including for the period of the Conflit north-Irish. In a preoccupation with a neutrality, this team is represented traditionally by her emblem, the clover.
The match is played Raeburn Place of Edinburgh, a stage of Cricket because the Scottish federation of Rugby did not have yet a stage adapted for an international match. It is disputed by two teams of 20 players, in two 50 minutes half-times. The Scot gain the match by 1 test and 1 goal marked against 1 test for the English.
For its part the Ireland begins on the international plan by meeting England in 1875. The Wales begins a little later with matches against England in 1881, Ireland in 1882 and Scotland in 1883. It is only in 1884 that these four teams meet all during the same season, indeed it misses a match with the edition of 1883 so that the Tournament is disputed completely. The editions of 1885, 1887 and 1889 are not supplemented, following arguments between federations.
The English are excluded from the editions of 1888 and 1889 because of their refusal to join the International Rugby Board. The Welsh were excluded in their turn in 1897 and 1898, their captain Arthur Gould having been rewarded for its services, it was interpreted like a violation of the rule of amateurism in force in Rugby. The sporting retirement of Gould made it possible to solve the question and Wales could take part in the following editions.
At the same time, the first " equip with France" (makes a selection of Parisian players of it, of which Frantz Reichel, Louis Dedet and Henri Amand) plays its first two matches in England, in February 1893, against the Civilian Service and Park House.Il is necessary to await 1906 so that the team of France argument its first match official, for its beginnings it meets England. Thereafter it meets the other British nations: Wales and Ireland in 1909 and Scotland in 1910.
January 1913 at the time of the France-Scotland match, of the spectators are thrown on the referee to express their dissatisfaction. The assembled police force is obliged to intervene while charging. This incident trains the secretary of the Scottish Rugby Union to be declared: “if the part can be played only under the protection of the police force or the soldiers, it is not worth the sorrow to be played”. Following these incidents, Scotland refuses to face France at the time of the Tournament of 1914.
France then is implicitly excluded from the Tournament, but the war of 14-18 does not make it possible to apply this exclusion. In 1918, the meetings begin again normally between the five nations, in the name of the fraternity of weapons.
Scotland gains nine times the Tournament during the years 1910 and 1920, with respectively four and five victories during these decades, including one Large slam in 1925.
In 1931, France is excluded for professionalism (payment of the players, recruitment inter-clubs) and because of its violent play at the time of certain matches. The France-Wales match of the Tournament 1930 is of an extreme brutality, as well on the lawn - with many wounded players - as among the spectators because the latter were in a hurry the ones against the others in the platforms or on the edge of key whereas with the entry of the stage, close to: 20000 potential spectators had not been able to attend the match.
France is again allowed in the Tournament in 1939 after the French federation of Rugby found an agreement in 1932 with clubs entered in dissidence in December 1930. The Second world war does not make it possible however the Tournament to take place in 1940. The Tournament begins again in 1947 after the Second world war, with the participation of the team of France.
In 1952, the French federation provides a list of players considered to be guilty of professionalism, of which Jean Dauger, Robert Soro and Maurice Siman, to avoid a new exclusion of the Tournament. France is not excluded and finally Dauger can play a match of the Tournament in January 1953 against Scotland.
After having gained victories shared in the Tournament in 1954 and 1955, the team of France is essential for the first time in the Tournament with successive victories of 1959 on 1963, including one divided with England in 1960.
The period 1964 with 1979 is dominated by Wales which gains ten times the Tournament, sharing the victory only twice in 1964 and 1970. These victories are obtained thanks to the talent of exceptional players like JPR Williams, Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Gerald Davies and Mervyn Davies. Thereafter, the Welsh did not have any more one such generation of players of talent since they gained the Tournament only three times in 27 years.
In 1972, the Tournament is disturbed by the Conflit north-Irish which leads to the abandonment of the competition. The teams cannot be classified this year because Welsh and Scottish refuse to play in Ireland following the massacre of Londonderry. Following these events, the God Save the Queen is not played any more at the time of the presentation of the teams. By preoccupation with a balance the Marseillaise is not played also any more before the matches of the team of France with Dublin as well as the Irish anthem when the XV of Clover move. This interdict ends in 1997.
Years 1980 see a new domination of France with four consecutive successes of 1986 with 1989, for which it is necessary to add successes in 1981 and 1983. These victories are supplied with two Large slams obtained in 1981 and 1987 under the control of the captains of team Jean-Pierre Rives and Daniel Dubroca and of their player emblematic Serge Blanco.
Into 1993, the payment changes: in the event of equality at the points, the difference in marked and boxed points is taken into account in the classification of the teams. A cut, Trophy of the 5 Nations (then of the 6), from now on is decreed with the winner who becomes single.
In 1996, the tournament, while preserving its name, becomes officially the Cut of Europe of the nations of Rugby to XV; after its victory against Ireland on March 16th, 1996, England is the first champion national team of Europe of Rugby to XV. With this title, England concludes one period ostentation during which it obtains four successes of 1991 with 1996, including three Large slams.
The Italy joined the Tournament in 2000, the Tournoi of the six nations succeeds the Five Nations tournament. It is not envisaged to again modify the number of participating nations in spite of the repeated calls of the Argentine which wishes to also take part in the Tournament.
The beginning of the year 2000 is dominated by England which gains three times the Tournament of 2000 with 2003, it fails only in 2002 against France which carries out a Large slam this year. English successes must much with the talent of sound striker Jonny Wilkinson which is the best marker of the history of the Tournament.
Festive traditions and aspects
In spite of some momentary difficulties, the Tournament remained a great sporting event and an appointment in good mood for its troops to support S. the match of the Tournament starts well before the kickoff with the voyage of the supporters which brings them in one of the six participating countries. Displacement is generally carried out in group and the train, the supporters not hesitating to make long voyages to attend the matches even if it is retransmis on line on television.
The match starts traditionally with the national anthems which are taken again in heart by the supporters of each team, whatever the result, it is prolonged very late the evening or the following day in the pubs or the Bistro ts.
For the supporters which are not likely to attend the match in the stage, it is also the occasion to gather between friends at the house or in a pub. Without it being by chauvinism or by excesses of nationalism, of many supporters the colors of their team carry, paint the face or sing some songs fetishes to encourage their players, for example the of the English. This song is adopted by the English supporters the March 19th 1988 at the time of a match between the England and the Ireland. Whereas the English lost 0-3 at the half-time, they take the advantage in second half-time by marking several tests, the supporters spontaneously sing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot after the third test. It became since the song of encouragement of the English supporters of Rugby. Same manner, the French interpret the Marseillaise to encourage their team, the Bleus .
The phenomenon of Hooligan ism, which appears at the time of certain competitions of football, does not exist in the field of Rugby, on the contrary the matches of the Tournament allow convivial meetings between supporters of different nationalities.
The ritual practice of the third half-time by the supporters, but more especially the players, is a true institution of Rugby with XV, one says that there is no Rugby without third half-time. The third half-times of the Tournament always bring together the players of the two teams, some remained in annals. One would not conceive a meeting of the Tournament which does not know its apotheosis in a large hotel then in a cabaret. Since the coming into effect of professionalism, in the middle of the years 1990, the players are however less inclined to make such variations.
The Tournament is also waited each year with interest because it is held in winter and at the beginning of spring, during part of the year when the other great sporting events are very few, except every four years the Winter Olympics. Like Marcel Rufo in connection with Rugby says it in general, but that applies well to the Tournament of the six nations in particular: Rugby enables us to spend beautiful winters before enjoying spring and gathering the lily of the valley in May .
Stages and spectators
Stages of the Tournament
The matches usually proceed in the following stages:
- Croke Park with Dublin (: 82500 places)
- Murrayfield with Edinburgh (: 67500 places)
- Millennium Stadium with Cardiff (: 72500 places)
- Stadio Flaminio with Rome (: 25000 places)
- Stade de France with Paris - Saint-Denis (: 80000 places)
- Twickenham with London (since 1910: 73500 places)
In 2007, the team of Ireland will dispute her matches with Croke Park where the matches of Football Gaelic are played normally. Indeed the stage of Lansdowne Road east in rebuilding in 2007 and 2008 and is not available for the matches of the Tournament during two years. An agreement was found with the Gaelic Athletic Association so that the matches proceed in Croke Park in 2007. This agreement will be probably renewed in 2008 before the matches can take again at Lansdowne Road in 2009.
Presence in the stages
The Tournament of the six nations of 2006 is with: 56084 spectators the competition disputed between nations which attracts, on average, the greatest number of spectators. It precedes the Football world cup 2006 with: 52401 spectators and the Tri-nations with: 45211 spectators in 2006.
The record of spectators for a match of the Tournament is of: 104000 spectators: it was established on March 1st 1975 with Murrayfield (Scotland) at the time of the match Scotland-Country of Wales. Since this date, the capacity of the stage of Murrayfield was reduced to ensure a better safety the spectators.
Prize list, assessments and records
Prize listdetailed Article: complete Prize list of the Tournament of the six nations
England is at the head prize list of the Tournament with 25 victories and especially 12 Grands slams successful in 1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1957, 1980 (detailed article), 1991, 1992, 1995 (detailed article), 2003 (detailed article). This list shows that it particularly shone during the years 1920 and first half of the years 1990.
Since 1954 and the first French victory in the Tournament (the tricolor ones having up to that point finished only seconds in 1921, 1930, 1931, 1948, 1949 and 1951), it is the XV of France which is at the head assessments with 24 victories including 8 Large Slams, in front of England (14 victories including 6 GC), Wales (17 victories including 4 GC), Scotland (6 victories including 2 GC), Ireland (5 victories) and Italy, always on standby of its first success in the test.
Assessments and records
Better individual performancesConcept of individual performance in a sport also clearly d'" équipe" that is Rugby, is to be relativized: an excellent striker, realizing of the 100% within a not very powerful team can see himself classifying behind a less powerful striker, but benefitting from occasions of attempts much more frequent. The same applies to the markers of tests, the more so as the merit of the mark of a test is seldom the fact of the marker himself. So finally one specifies, that certain stations do not aim at the marking of points, one will consider the data below with much distance…
The following table shows that Jonny Wilkinson dominates the classification of the best realizers by Tournoi, by appearing four times among the six first.
When it was in activity with the team of England, its superiority could be disputed only by the French Gerald Merceron who made a success of the best total of points marked in 2002. This year there, the team of France sign the 7th Large Slam of its history.
One can also note that the six best totals are carried out since 2000. Without wanting to minimize the performances of the quoted players, the evolution of the rules of Rugby undoubtedly has an influence on these results, even if a simple explanation is in the extension to six participating nations, therefore in an additional match.
The table which follows gives the classification of the best markers of tests by Tournoi. One can notice that the greatest number of tests per player was established in 1914 and that this record was approximate in 1925 and more recently in 2001.
Cyril Nelson Lowe marked 2 tests against Ireland, 3 tests against Scotland and 3 tests against France in 1914. For its part, Ian Scott Smith marked 8 tests in two meetings only: 4 tests against France and 4 tests against Wales.
The French Christian Darrouy (1963, 1964,1965 and 1966) was on his side 4 times better marker of proof tests, with in particular 4 tests in three matches in 1965 marked with the complicity of Guy Boniface.
Although it does not appear in this assessment, Philippe Saint-Andrew marked the test which is considered by most beautiful marked much in a Tournament of the five/six nations. This test comes to the conclusion from an action 100 meters launched since the French line of in-goal by Serge Blanco and Philippe Berbizier.
Six players succeeded in the exploit to mark at least a test at the time of each meeting of a Tournament:
Assessment EnglishAfter 23 years of waiting, England obtains new a Grand Slam in 1980 under the control of its captain Bill Beaumont.
England dominates the period 1991-1996 with 4 victories including 3 Large Slams in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1996. It joins again with the victory in 2000, 2001 (victory shared with Ireland) and especially in 2003, year during which the English gain also the world cup.
The English hold also the record of points marked at the time of a Tournament, record which they changed to 183 in 2000, then 229 in 2001. These performances were accompanied by the victory with the Tournament.
Jason Leonard has the best assessment of all the English players with 7 victories and 4 GC, for 14 disputed Tournaments. He belonged to all the English teams which gained the Tournament between 1996 and 2003
On the individual level, the Scot John Rutherford gained 2 times the Tournament (1984 and 1986), of which one by making a success of the Large Slam (1984).
Assessment FrenchFrance gains only the Tournament for the first time in 1959, under the control of Lucien Mias. It dominates then the Tournament during the three years which follow. Thereafter the French make a success of 8 times the Large Slam in 1968, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004.
Several players reached or exceeded the eight participations in the Tournament:
- 13: Philippe Sella
- 11: Roland Bertranne, Serge Blanco and Fabien Pelous
- 10: Eugene Ribère and Pierre Berbizier
- 9: Adolphe Jauréguy and Olivier Magne
- 8: Aime Cassayet
The list which follows indicates the French players who generally gained the Tournament:
- 6 times: Serge Blanco (1981 (GC), 1983,1986,1987 (GC), 1988,1989), Pierre Berbizier (1981 (GC), 1983,1986,1987 (GC), 1988,1989), Philippe Sella (1983, 1986,1987 (GC), 1988,1989,1993), Jacques Bouquet (1954, 1955,1959,1960,1961 and 1962).
- 5 times: Michel Celaya, Amédée Domenech, Andre Boniface, Fabien Pelous (including 4 GC) and Olivier Magne (including 4 GC).
- 4 times consecutively:
Assessment WelshWales dominates the period 1969-1979 with 6 successes in 1969, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1978 and 1979 including 3 Large Slams.
William Trew took part in 12 Tournaments.
- JPR Williams made of it in the same way, gaining for its part the Tournament with 8 recoveries into 1969,1970,1971 (GC), 1973,1975,1976 (GC), 1978 (GC) and 1979.
- Gareth Edwards gained 7 times the Tournament (even prize list that JPR Williams, except for 1979).
- Gerald Davies, another large Welsh player of the years 1970, gained 6 times the Tournament (in 1969,1971,1973,1975,1976 and 1978) and carried out 3 times the Large Slam.
- Mervyn Davies for its part gained 7 times the Tournament (1969, 1970,1971,1972,1973,1975,1976), in 8 participations, with 2 Large Slams with the key.
Assessment IrishIreland gains its first and single Grand Slam in 1948 under control of its captain Karl Mullen. It dominates this period because it gains then the Tournament in 1949 and 1951. The Irishmen know another favorable period during first half of the years 1980 with 3 victories in 1982, 1983 (with equality with France) and 1985, all acquired under the capitanat of Ciaran Fitzgerald.
4 other Irish players also gained three times the Tournament: Phil Orr, Donal Lenihan, Moss Keane and Hugo MacNeill. The record of victories belongs to Fergus Slattery with 4 successes in 1973, 1974, 1982 and 1983.
2000 by a success against Scotland. It finishes however last this edition of 2000, it avoids the last place only starting from its fourth participation in 2003. In 2007, it gains its first match outside (against Scotland), and carries out this same year, its best performance since its entry in the tournament.
Wood trophies and spoon
TrophiesThe Calcutta Cup is concerned between England and Scotland, it was created in 1878 and was disputed for the first time on March 10th 1879. This match being finished by a tie, it is necessary to await 1880 so that the cut is gained by a team, in fact by England which beats Scotland by 2 goals and 3 tests against 1 goal for the Scot.
The triple crown , nonofficial, is decreed by the British journalists with the formation which is essential in a mini-championship on 4 with Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland. It is England which gained for the first time it triple crown, it was in 1883.
In the same way, the Grand Slam is an icing on the cake for any winner of the Tournament: it is a question of beating all its adversaries. Although it is not a trophy strictly speaking, “Large Slam” ( Grand Slam in English) is used within the framework it Tournament to designate a team which gains all her matches during an edition. This term is introduced for the first time in 1957 by an English newspaper, at the time of the first Large Slam of the team of England.
Wood spoonThe Cuillère of wood is a “anti-trophy”, decreed with the team which lost all her matches at the time of an edition of a Tournament.
See also: Spoon of wood
Audio-visual cover and economic aspects
Audio-visual coverThe Tournament profits from a good audio-visual cover, the majority of the matches are retransmis on line or in recorded moments before on television and to the radio. The retransmissions are followed by a broad audience which reaches the 41% of market share in France, that is to say more than 6 million televiewers, in the case of matches headlights such as those which oppose England to France.,
The situation is similar for the British nations, the number of televiewers who follow the Tournament is stable. It is on average of 5,3 million televiewers for the matches of England retransmis by BBC and can reach 7,5 million potentially.,
Economic aspectsThe rights of television, the sponsoring and the sale of tickets of entry to the matches of the Tournament are important sources of revenue for the federations of Rugby. In the extreme case of the Scottish federation, the Tournament provides more than 70% of its financing and it is important for this federation which the matches are disputed with closed counters., a match of the Tournament disputed in the stage of Twickenham brings back 4 to 5 million euros to the English federation (RFU).
The profits generated by the Tournament are shared between the national federations of Rugby in several shares according to various criteria:
- a share also distributed between the Member States
- a share which is function of the number of clubs of each country
- a share which is function of the classification of the selections.
- a share which is function of the number of clubs of each country
The rebroadcast rights on television French are held by the public service since 2002, they were renewed over the period 2006-2009. The annual entire amount of the rights of France Televisions devoted to Rugby is estimated at 12 million euros over the period 2003-2006.
Several great industry groups sponsorisent Rugby with XV and, in particular, the Tournament of the six nations. For these groups, Rugby represents the team spirit, user-friendliness, the power… As many values to which they subscribe and wish to be attached. The sponsors profit from an excellent visibility during the retransmission of the matches of the Tournament of the six nations, the presence of a mark on the billboards which surround the ground accounts for approximately 1,6 million euros of advertizing equivalent.
The public moves by far and in mass. Also, the hotels, transport, the trade benefit directly from the organization of the matches.
Facts and anecdotes
- Makes single in 1973, the five teams finished with equality (four points in four matches) because all gained their home matches.
- the Tournament is used as framework with the film Allez France! (1964) of Robert Dhéry.
- the official anthem of the Tournament is the Te Deum of the type-setter Marc-Antoine Charpentier since 1957.
Notes & References
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