The 6 Greatest Teams to Win the Six Nations Championship

What is the greatest team to win the Six Nations Championship? 

For those of you who don't know, the Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition between the northern hemisphere teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The championship takes place during the months of February and March.  It averages the highest gate attendances of any other sporting event.

The Six Nations Championship is hugely popular, and boasts large viewing figures that stretches across the globe, from Australia and New Zealand to North and South America. It is regarded as the second most prestigious event in rugby union, behind only the Rugby World Cup.

As we get ready for another championship, we look back at some of the strongest and best teams that have graced the Six Nations since its formation in 2000.  So, here are the six greatest teams ever to have lifted the championship trophy...

6.  Ireland, 2018

The class of 2018 will go down as, perhaps, the strongest Irish team in history. This team had everything, from defence to attack. Tactically superior to the rest of the pack, Ireland were unstoppable that year, with convincing wins over England, Italy, and Scotland, and defining moments against Wales and France.

A world cup triumph is more realistic than it ever has been for this Irish team, and everyone knows it. The question is, have this group of players got the mentality to win rugby's most prized event?

5.  Wales, 2005

The Welsh grand slam in 2005 was perhaps the most surprising of all.  No one expected this young Welsh team to mount a serious challenge, but they carved their way to the title playing some of the most exciting, skilful, running rugby in Six Nations history.

A superb final day win against Ireland in Cardiff sealed the grand slam, and deservedly so. As good as the 2008 and 2012 Welsh grand slam wining teams were, they didn't play rugby like this team did.

4.  Ireland, 2009

Ireland had waited half a century for this moment to arrive, and boy, was it worth the wait! With O' Gara and O' Driscoll leading the attack, Ireland had the guns, but did they have the heads? Mentally, Ireland had a habit of coming unstuck when it mattered most, but not this time.

Ireland's nemesis, France, would finally be turned over, and a deserved win on the final day against the holders, Wales, was the perfect way to seal victory.

3.  Wales, 2012

Having come off the back of a semi final showing at the 2011 world cup, Wales went into the 2012 championship as one of the favourites. The opening game win against Ireland in Dublin was key to their success. It allowed them to build good momentum, which saw them beat England away, and Scotland, Italy and France in Cardiff, to seal the grand slam.

Wales would retain the championship the following year, with perhaps one of their greatest ever performances against England in Cardiff, trouncing them 30-3.

2.  France, 2002

Clive Woodward's England were the firm favourites at the first kick, but it was France who had the clean sweep to grand slam glory.  After some shrewd wins against Italy and Wales, France then outsmarted England in Paris, before seeing off the Scots and crushing the Irish for their victory parade.

France have always been a bit hit or miss, but that 2002 team had a fine balance between defence and attack, making them one of the greatest teams to lift the Six Nations trophy.  If only there was a world cup that year...

1.  England, 2003

Our winner just has to be THAT England team of 2003! And what a team that was.  Ok, so they didn't play the most eye-catching rugby, but what they did do was squeeze teams to death with their solid defence and territorial play. It was incredibly effective, and when you've got Wilkinson slotting the kicks between the posts, it's a lethal combination.

A world cup win later that year cemented Clive Woodward's team as one of the greatest rugby union teams of all time.  There's no question, England of 2003 was the best Six Nations side, by a mile.


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