6 Nations!

by Chris Bertram on February 5, 2016

Another year, and the [Six Nations has rolled around again](http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/35471997), a competition between the also-rans and second-bests in world rugby. Thoughts? Predictions? For me, being an England supporter will be harder than ever. England have decided that the solution to their endemic problems is to appoint Eddie Jones. Well, I suppose he did somehow get Japan to beat South Africa. Jones promptly picked the odious eye-gouger and biter Dylan Hartley as captain. Though I’m tempted to insist on the Scottish and Irish bits of my family tree at this point, I fear it is too late and I will simply have to live with the shame.



Chris Brooke 02.05.16 at 3:41 pm

As a Bristolian, I think it ought to be fairly straightforward for you to imagine a minor adjustment of the Welsh border in your favour.


Brendan Halpin 02.05.16 at 3:41 pm

It’s what turns winter into spring.


Niall McAuley 02.05.16 at 3:49 pm

Commentators in Ireland are already talking about us winning a historic 3rd Championship in a row, so we will inevitably crash and burn, punished by the Rugby gods for hubris.


Glen Tomkins 02.05.16 at 3:50 pm

I thought the headline referred to the Iroquois Confederation, so you can imagine my surprise at finding that it refers instead to an institution that celebrates a lack of civilization.


Dipper 02.05.16 at 3:51 pm

Dylan Hartley. not Jones.


Chris Bertram 02.05.16 at 3:58 pm



Gary Othic 02.05.16 at 5:12 pm

I think France might do something, they’ve not had a good run for a while so are probably due to win the tournament.

From the Scottish perspective: we will build on a very good World Cup (for us) by having a series of close deafeats by the big teams and dolloping out an atrocious performance against Italy to win the coveted wooden spoon.


mrearl 02.05.16 at 5:33 pm

Strange how the BBC write sports.


Neville Morley 02.05.16 at 6:16 pm

Given how well Wales did in the World Cup with something that was almost a second-string team, given all the injuries, we ought to contending for the Grand Slam, with serious competition of almost every position. *And* we’ve still got Shaun Edwards as defence coach (I honestly cannot believe that Endland didn’t make a serious effort to recruit him). But I don’t think our mixture of home and away games is especially favourable. Ireland should be good value, except that something seems to have gone a little awry at club level. France will as ever be an unpredictable mixture of brilliance and awfulness – I’m going for 30/70 split this year. Scotland ought to do better than in previous years given that performance against Australia, but I fear they’ll fall behind England in mid-table. Italy for the wooden spoon, sadly.


bexley 02.05.16 at 7:53 pm

Forget Dylan Hartley. The thing that makes me feel guilty about watching this years 6N is that its getting harder to ignore all the research on brain damage and CTE for collision sports. Especially since the powers that be seem to only want to talk about concussion rather than the cumulative impact of sub-concussive hits.


Metatone 02.05.16 at 8:45 pm

I’m with Gary Othic, the team everyone is failing to notice is France. They have a decent set of players and with a competent organiser at the helm – which Noves certainly is, they will win enough games to be in the mix to win the Championship.

(I can’t see it being a Grand Slam year.)

bexley, depressingly has a good point.


Dipper 02.05.16 at 10:31 pm

In a close year home advantage counts a lot. England are at home to Ireland and Wales and the final match is away to France. So if England get off to a good start on Saturday it could be theirs to lose by the final weekend.

bexley is spot on. The game is getting heavier and faster with unfortunate consequences. I can think of at least one player who has had a great career, doesn’t have anything left to prove, and should retire before he gets any more head injuries.


Gary Othic 02.05.16 at 11:09 pm

@bexley (10)

I’d agree with this – I think there’s a lot of unnoticed injuries that go on (not just with concussions but with muscle and bone use as well). Having said that, for all the crashing and bashing that rugby involves, major injuries (broken bones, dislocations etc.) seem to be fairly rare, which has always surprised me.

@Metatone (11)

People write the French off at their peril… although having said this they’ll probably lose their opening two games of the bat now…


Ebenezer Scrooge 02.06.16 at 2:13 am

Unburdened by the circonflex, the French should be unstoppable.


nnyhav 02.06.16 at 4:25 am

^ Home is where you wear your hat! I fell so breakup …


deliasmith 02.07.16 at 9:23 pm

I honestly cannot believe that Endland didn’t make a serious effort
This must be deliberate as it’s so apt, and d is too far from g for it to be a typo.


Ronan(rf) 02.07.16 at 9:28 pm

I fancy the Welsh.
And I’m not talking about the rugby.


Neville Morley 02.08.16 at 6:07 am

Much as I’d like to claim credit for writing something that someone liked, this is solely the outcome of typing too fast on an iPad mini with the German keyboard installed…


Niall McAuley 02.12.16 at 10:49 am


Niall McAuley 02.12.16 at 10:50 am


Niall McAuley 02.12.16 at 10:53 am

Just checking something…


Niall McAuley 02.12.16 at 11:06 am

Last one…

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