Considered one of the popular sporting events of the year and certainly the biggest annual event in Rugby Union, the Six Nations Championship is set to kick-off on Saturday, February 6th.
If you’ve never bet on the Six Nations before but you’re eager to grab a piece of the action, then keep reading. In this blog we’ll breakdown the who, what, why and where of the 2021 Six Nations Championship, including a full match schedule and a guide to placing your bets.
Scroll straight to the bottom if you simply want to see the fixtures.
What is the Six Nations Championship?
The Six Nations Championship is an annual international men’s rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. The current champions are England, who won the 2020 tournament.
The Six Nations was previously known as the Home Nations Championship (1883–1909 and 1932–39), played between teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, which was the first international rugby union tournament. With the addition of France, this became the Five Nations Championship (1910–31 and 1947–99), which in turn became the Six Nations Championship with the addition of Italy.
When do the 2021 Six Nations start and end?
The tournament begins on the first weekend in February (Saturday 6th 2021) and culminates with Super Saturday on the second or third Saturday in March. The format of the Championship is simple: each team plays every other team once (making a total of 15 matches), with home ground advantage alternating from one year to the next.
A guide to Rugby betting options
Handicap bets in rugby work the same as any other sports. It is the bookie’s way of levelling the playing field. The handicap essentially gives the underdog in the match a head start that the favoured team has to overcome. In rugby, this would provide the favoured team with a negative starting position, so if the handicap is -12, then the favoured team will have to win by at least 13 points for the bet to be a winning one. It is the best way to bet on the favoured team to ensure maximum returns on bets.
The most common way for people to stake their money is on the outright markets. This is simply where gamblers bet on the outright winner of an event. The most common markets in Union for this type of betting is the World Cup, Six Nations and Aviva Premiership.
Away from the outright markets, most people would typically lay a stake on a single bet to ensure that there is entertainment to be had in the fixture regardless of if their team isn’t taking part. The 1X2 market is considered the most straightforward way to place a bet, and even novices will catch onto how it works very quickly. This type of market can be incredibly lucrative for rugby fans.
For instance, if Wales are facing Ireland, the team that is the home team will be ‘1’ while the away team will be ‘2’. The ‘X’ signifies a draw, but due to the rarity of the result in rugby league or Union, this is typically the highest price of all three options. If you have placed a stake on Wales or ‘1’ for this matter, then the bet will be a winning one if they beat Ireland.
Bookmakers will simply ask whether there will be over or under X points in the match. You would then decide whether you will place your stake on the match consisting of more or fewer points than the bookmaker is asking. It is a very straightforward way of betting, and the winning team doesn’t affect whether your bet is a winner or not.
The prop bets markets are for those who have done thorough research beforehand and are well-read on all factors concerning both teams. Markets that you could find included in this sector include the team to score the first try, time of the first try and first team to score. There are various prop bets available on many bookie websites, and they can be incredibly lucrative if you have done the adequate research beforehand.
The Six Nations Trophies
Unlike most sports championships, in the Six Nations, it’s not all about the main championship trophy. There are actually 7 other titles or trophies to be won.
Grand Slam: When one wins all their matches.
Triple Crown: Won by England, Scotland, Wales, or Ireland, if one nation wins all three matches against the others.
Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy: Awarded to the winner of France versus Italy.
Calcutta Cup: Awarded to the winner of England versus Scotland.
Millennium Trophy: Awarded to the winner of England versus Ireland.
Centenary Quaich: Awarded to the winner of Scotland versus Ireland.
Wooden Spoon: Awarded to whoever finishes last in the competition.
The 2021 Six Nations Fixtures
- Italy v France, Saturday Feb 6, 2.15pm (UK & Ireland), Rome
- England v Scotland, Saturday Feb 6, 4.45pm,
Wales v Ireland, Sunday Feb 7, 3pm, Cardiff
- England v Italy, Saturday Feb 13, 2.15pm,Twickenham
- Scotland v Wales, Saturday Feb 13, 4.45pm, Edinburgh
- Ireland v France, Saturday Feb 14, 3pm, Dublin
- Italy v Ireland, Saturday Feb 27, 2.15pm (UK & Ireland), Rome
- Wales v England, Saturday Feb 27, 4.45pm, Cardiff
- France v Scotland, Sunday Feb 28, 3pm (UK & Ireland), Paris
- Italy v Wales, Saturday March 13, 2.15pm (UK & Ireland), Rome
- England v France, Saturday March 13, 4.45pm, Twickenham
- Scotland v Ireland, Sunday March 14, 3pm, Edinburgh
- Scotland v Italy, Saturday March 20, 2.15pm, Edinburgh
- Ireland v England, Saturday March 20, 4.45pm, Dublin
- France v Wales, Saturday March 20, 8pm (UK & Ireland), Paris
So there you have it, a brief overview of the Rugby Six Nations. Enjoy the games and if you are going to place a bet then remember to enjoy small thrills with money you can afford to lose. Use it as a fun way to get together with friends and play your money safely with the MuchBetter digital wallet.