In advance of tonight’s opening game, the annual Six Nations open thread!

by Chris Bertram on February 6, 2015

Fire away in comments. Looking at the pattern of home and away fixtures, my money is on France if they can beat Ireland away next week. But, as usual, four teams could win it.



Hindu Friend 02.06.15 at 2:50 pm

I just regret that the teams are so white. We need more immigrants to stamp out these offensive Euro indigenous cultures.


rea 02.06.15 at 2:52 pm

[Annual comment hoping the Seneca win]


Niall McAuley 02.06.15 at 2:56 pm

Paddypower says The Six Nations Outright 2015:
Ireland 15/8
England 2/1
Wales 3/1
France 6/1
Scotland 33/1
Italy 500/1


MPAVictoria 02.06.15 at 2:59 pm

Go Wales!


Anon for Now 02.06.15 at 3:28 pm

Nothing makes me feel more American than every year having to google “six nations tournament” when I see this thread …. clearly my sporting horizon needs to be broadened.


BruceB 02.06.15 at 3:31 pm

[Annual web search to refresh my memory as to whether this is a rugby or cricket thing; I have at least progressed past the reflexive Iroquois Confederacy and lacrosse]


MPAVictoria 02.06.15 at 3:41 pm

Wait, this isn’t Lacrosse?


Maria 02.06.15 at 3:44 pm

Is it true France have no interest in preparing for the 6 Nations and are focused instead on the World Cup? How can that be a thing?!


Igor Belanov 02.06.15 at 4:19 pm

The proper rugby season has already started with Widnes against Wigan last night.


John 02.06.15 at 4:22 pm

Interested to see Ireland’s opening game against Italy. They have left Madigan on the bench and Keetly is kicking. Are they going to play off against Italy’s weakness for penalties near their own try line or will they take the game to them? See what happens, but no Coderdojo with the kids for the next 6 weeks :)


Ronan(rf) 02.06.15 at 4:28 pm

Being the optimistic sort, I’ve money each way on Ireland for the WC already, so may as well add that they’ll run away with this. (IMO We’ll beat Eng and Fra at home relatively comfortably, Wales away will be the potential slip up)


Trader Joe 02.06.15 at 5:16 pm

I always pull for the team with the best hooker.

Or Wales.


Maria 02.06.15 at 6:41 pm


MPAVictoria 02.06.15 at 6:46 pm

““Christ, if I hear one more school or college rugby story I’ll shoot myself,” he explained. “It always starts the same: ‘When I was playing for the school I was positioned.. bla-bla-fucking-blah.”

Ha! Great link Maria


TheSophist 02.06.15 at 8:12 pm

When I was playing for the school, I was a hooker. This was not a good thing, because my teammates hadn’t quite mastered the art of keeping scrums upright, so I spent many afternoons crushed at the bottom of piles of pubescent boys.

Then I became a scrum half. This was a vast improvement, for (as far as I could tell) the scrum half’s mission was to throw the ball as far away from himself as possible as quickly as possible in order to minimize the possibility of being tackled. Minimizing the possibility of being tackled seemed like a worthy goal.

I was not a good player. Our fullback, however, went on to win eleventy bazillion caps for England, while also being a surgeon in the off-season.


MPAVictoria 02.06.15 at 8:22 pm

“I was not a good player. Our fullback, however, went on to win eleventy bazillion caps for England, while also being a surgeon in the off-season.”

Man some people are just impressive…


rea 02.06.15 at 8:26 pm

When I was playing for the school, I was a hooker. This was not a good thing

Britain and the United States–two countries divided by a common language


Maria 02.06.15 at 9:29 pm

MPA, I try to comfort myself that these multi-talented scholar athlete types are probably terrible conversationalists, bad in bed or destined to lose their hair early. Complete lies, of course, but it keeps me going.


Chris Bertram 02.06.15 at 10:01 pm

An England win, despite the denial of a try to Bristol philosophy graduate Dave Attwood.


Maria 02.06.15 at 10:02 pm

I hope you taught him Stoicism.


TheSophist 02.06.15 at 10:44 pm

Maria, MPAV: I can honestly say that he was an extremely nice guy and an interesting conversationalist. With regard to your third criticism, may I invoke Wittgenstein?

Actually his whole family was pretty ridiculous. His father was an Oxford Blue who had spent decades as a missionary doctor in rural India. At the time I knew him he had an older brother who was being a doctor in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. My father and I used to joke that the family was probably going to produce an axe murderer in the next generation, just to even things out.

Another counterexample (whom I don’t know personally, but know of through others and through his writing) is the Norwegian Simen Agdestein, who managed to be simultaneously a member of the national football team and a chess Grandmaster! He is, by all accounts, a very nice, friendly guy.


MPAVictoria 02.06.15 at 11:21 pm

Maria and TheSophist:

I used to tell myself that life was like a D&D game. You only got some many character attribute points. So people who were good at sports would be bad at math and vice versa. I now know that some people have way more points than I do.



JanieM 02.07.15 at 12:22 am

When I was growing up in northeastern Ohio, Frank Ryan was the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns and a math professor at Case.

Whether he was a friendly guy I have no idea.


JanieM 02.07.15 at 12:27 am


Toby 02.09.15 at 1:17 pm

England already the team to beat, coming from behind powerfully and purposefully to defeat Wales in Cardiff.

Ireland a competent if pedestrian win over Italy. Italy going backwards.

France a conundrum, struggling to beat Scotland and scoring no tries, for all their talented backs. Rumours of a Scottish reanaissance may yet be proved true.

Scotland lost by 7 points, scoring a good try to France’s none. Italy lost by 23 points, and only scored 3 points, at home. In a fairer world, Scotland would have a bonus point. This is one of the few rugby competitions that does not award bonus points for narrow losses.

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