Arguably one of the world’s greatest (and muddiest!) tournaments in the world, the Six Nations Championship brings together home Nations; England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and France, to share in the passion and excitement of rugby. 2015 saw third time Champions, Ireland snatch the title from the hands of rival siblings, Wales and England. With a matter of days until the home nation big guns contend for native supremacy, we take a look at what excitement could unravel at the 2016 Championships.
This year’s tournament could be the most open yet. Greats, France and England welcome new coaches to the field. After a turbulent World Cup for four times Champions, England, further doubt is cast upon the team’s morale and their ability to pull together a series of winning performances. But with no Northern Hemisphere team making the semi-finals of last year’s Rugby World Cup, there is pressure on all teams to prove their worth.
Both Ireland and Wales are suffering weakened teams. Irish lynchpin, Jonathan Sexton is in doubt after suffering a head injury just 8 minutes into Leinster’s Champions Cup defeat by the Wasps. Whilst Wales’ golden boy, Sam Warburton is still feeling the effects of an ankle injury from November last year.
All of the above could be good news for the “underdogs” Italy and Scotland. An undeniable allure is developing in the Scottish camp; the arrival of new Head Coach, Vern Cotter has undoubtedly raised the goal posts. Whereas over the pond, the flamboyant Italians are always poised to throw a spanner in the works; need we remind you of the upset of 2013 (in case you have forgotten, Italy stunned France taking a famous 23-18 victory).
Whatever the outcome, the pending 5 weeks of rugby are sure to send spectators on a roller-coaster of emotions. One thing is for sure though; those team buses sure could do with a bespoke boot liner from Hatchbag! How else are they going to keep the bus pristine clean from all those muddy boots and kit bags?! For more information about Hatchbag products click here.