SIX NATIONS RULES: The 'NatWest sponsored' Championship is a rugby point system battle. The aim is to crown the international tournament 6 nation winners each year.
It takes place around February to March dates, as a rule, but occasionally the games run into April.
The annual battle for the rugby union 6 Nations International Tournament takes place over seven weekends.
It is fiercely contested between six European six nations countries. The format integrates England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Italy.
Home rule advantage gets alternated each year. All teams play against the other five only once throughout a total of 15 matches per season.
Two RBS points get awarded for every win and one point per team for a draw. The triumphant team with the most rugby union points after all the games finish is duly crowned the Rugby Union Six Nations Champions.
The NatWest Six Nations Tournament introduced a bonus-point system for the 2017 championship. The new Six Nations rules encourage and reward teams for attacking play and try scoring.
Teams will get 4 points for a win in the 6 Nations Competition. Scoring four or more tries will also earn the team an extra bonus point.
A losing team could actually grab two bonus points. They would get 1 if they score four or more tries and extra point if they lose by less than a 7 point margin.
If a team take the Grand Slam title by winning all five games they will get 3 extra bonus points. Teams will now get 2 points each for a draw.
Related Story: Rugby Six Nations Try New Bonus Point System in 2017
Occasionally the outright trophy winner cannot get determined by the total tally of 6 Nations points system alone.
If this happens, the Six Nations rugby regulations decide the winner by match-points difference.
They achieve this by subtracting the team's match-points 'against' from their match-points 'for' in all their Rugby Union Championship matches.
What if that process still does not produce a clear champion?
In this case the tournament victory goes to the squad who scored the most tries during the whole competition. The Championship is shared between the winners of the six nations if the points still match.
The 6 Nation Grand Slam Winners would be the country who wins the tournament and also wins all their rugby matches over the other five teams.
Each season, the four Home Unions of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales also compete for the title of Triple Crown.
A rugby union Six Nations Triple Crown winner is any home union team who won all their matches against the other three home countries.
The history of the Six Nations Rugby dates back to 1882. The oldest rugby championship in the world began as the English squad headed to Swansea on a bleak wintery day.
England eventually overcame the Welsh team by scoring four tries and two goals.
Despite being much disorganized and with almost no codified rugby union rules and regulations or clear point system, the oldest rugby championship in the world had started.
Who could foresee the path that the 'International Rugby Six Nations Championship' in the northern hemisphere was about to take.
In terms of rugby union, this could be attributed as the turning point for the modern game as we know it.
The tournament was originally a competition between the home countries of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
The national game grew in popularity and France joined in 1910 coinciding with the opening of the new home for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) at Twickenham.
English rugby entered its golden era as England revelled in success over Wales in the first ever international at Twickenham. Italy is the most recent team to join the six nations contest, enlisting in the millennium year 2000.
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