• Six Nations 2021 - Team by team guide, History, TV channels & How to Watch Live

    Published Friday 05 February 2021 9:30pm

    7 min read

    The Six Nations once again returns to free-to-air screens in the UK and we have all the latest team by team preview, TV match schedules and players to watch out for during the 6 week tournament.

Marco Iacobucci Epp / Shutterstock.com

By WherestheMatch Team

Six Nations: Facts, Winners and History

The Six Nations has been played for over a century and initially called the Home Nations Championship with England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales playing.  When France joined, it became the Five Nations until 1999 when Italy became the most recent country to join to make it the Six Nations as it is today.

England have won the tournament more than any other nation with 29 wins and 7 Six Nations titles - Scotland and Italy remain the only nations not to win the Six Nations since it started back in 2000.  France and Wales have both won the Six Nations five times, whilst Ireland have lifted the trophy four times, the last being back in 2009.

Check our full Six Nations 2021 TV schedule.

What happened in last year's Six Nations?

England won the 2020 Six Nations, but only on points difference from France who both won four of their five matches.  They started with a loss to Wales but went on to win with four straight wins.  Italy finished bottom and the wooden spoon for the fifth time running.

The Grand Slam and Triple Crown

The team that wins all of it's Six Nations games wins the Grand Slam.  However, the Triple Crown is another trophy that can only be won by one of the Home Nations if they beat the other three nations.

Other trophies played for within the Six Nations

Individual match trophies also played for during the tournament include:

  • Calcutta Cup - England v Scotland (played since 1879)
  • Millennium Trophy - England v Ireland (played since 1988)
  • Centenary Quaich - Ireland v Scotland (played since 1989)
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy - France v England (played since 2007)
  • Auld Alliance Trophy - France v Scotland (played since 2018)
  • Doddie Weir Cup - Wales v Scotland (played since 2018)

Six Nations Venues

The 2021 Six Nations matches will be played in the following stadiums:

  • England - Twickenham (Capacity - 82,000)
  • France - Stade de France (81,338)
  • Wales - Principality Stadium (74,500)
  • Italy - Stadio Olimpico (72,698)
  • Scotland - Murrayfield (67,144)
  • Ireland - Aviva Stadium (51,700)

Six Nations: Team by Team News & Form guide

England

Despite missing their five leading forwards for the majority of the tournament, England are still seen as favourites to lift the title. Training hasn't gone too well for the England camp, with many players not playing for at least of months due to isolation or injury.

With 3 Six Nations title in the last 5, England will be hard to beat yet again but may over-rely on their kicking prowess of Owen Farrell which makes it difficult for them to play catch up rugby if they go behind on the score sheet.

England aren't as pretty to watch as France or Scotland but Eddie Jones has built a winning mentality that will be hard to shift - his preparation for the 2023 World Cup in France remains strong and they will be right up there in this year's Six Nations.

France

Having just been pipped to the Six Nations on points difference in 2020 to England and runners-up in the Autumn Nations Cup, Les Bleus have certainly changed their fortunes since their slump in recent years.  France have had good preparation for the tournament but will be without Romain Ntamack and centre Virimi Vakatawa.

Arguably they were robbed of the Grand Slam last year and indiscipline cost them the World Cup in 2019, they will be a good bet to go one further this year.

Ireland

With a switch of coaching staff in 2020 in Andy Farrell and Mike Catt, Ireland have been going through a transitional stage of late but their team now seems to have bought into a new style of play that was overly tactical under Joe Schmidt.

If they can get Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray firing in the twilights of their international careers, they may cause a few upsets.

Italy

Despite becoming a real force at Under 20's level, Italy still hold the wooden spoon and they will have to work hard to avoid it this year.

Old blood Luca Bigi and Carlo Canna will be looking to lead from the front but Franco Smith is looking to invest in youth and has planned well to cause some potential upsets.

Scotland

Scotland could be a dark horse for this year's Six Nations but poor away form continues to hurt their chances of the title.  They open with a visit to Twickenham and haven't won on their travels in the tournament since 2010, but many will remember the amazing comeback back in 2019 when they trailed 31-0 at half-time to snatch a 38-38 draw.

Finn Russell is back in the line-up, with Cameron Redpath an extra option in midfield.  They boast flair in attack but may have shortcomings in physicality as each match progresses.

Wales

New coach Wayne Pivac started his Six Nations campaign with a 42-0 drubbing of Italy a year ago but have drawn blanks ever since, their only victories coming again Georgia and Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup.  Wales start the 2021 campaign at home to Ireland and will be hoping to play with more flair.

A change in forwards this year with Lewis-Hughes, Botham and Sam Parry with regulars Lydiate and Owens making the squad, they'll be hoping to improve in this area.

Warren Gatland's legacy in his success was Wales' physicality and they will be hoping to recapture this if they have any chance of winning the Six Nations this year.

How to watch the Six Nations live on TV in the UK

Every Six Nations match is live across the BBC and ITV and remains one of the remaining competitions that are obliged to show on free-to-air broadcasters.  S4C will show all Wales matches, with the majority of England games shown on ITV.  Live streams are also available on the ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer.

Check our full Six Nations 2021 TV schedule and never miss another try, kick or line-out again!