The Six Nations Championship is one of the oldest tournaments in rugby, having been played in one form or another for more than 138 years.
What was initially a men’s international tournament featuring England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, has grown to include France and Italy, while there has been a women’s edition since 1996.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ensured the men’s and women’s tournaments were still being played in October and November. But despite the short turnaround, there is much to look forward to in 2021.
Will England be able to defend the titles they won in 2020? Or can the chasing pack — led by France in both editions — reel in the reigning champions?
What happened in Round One?
Italy v France
Six Nations 2020 runners-up France opened their 2021 campaign with a comfortable 50-10 defeat of Italy in Rome. Les Bleus took the lead in the sixth minute, when Dylan Cretin crossed for his first test try.
Gaël Fickou and Arthur Vincent added tries before half-time, while Brice Dulin, Antoine Dupont and Teddy Thomas (twice) crossed the whitewash after the break. Luca Sperandio scored Italy’s only try of the match, while Paolo Garbisi kicked five points for the Azzurri.
England v Scotland
Scotland had not tasted victory at Twickenham since 1983 ahead of kick-off, but they led from the seventh minute on Saturday, when Finn Russell’s penalty dissected the posts.
Duhan van der Merwe scored the only try of the match on the half-hour mark, powering over from close range, however, two Owen Farrell penalties before half-time ensured the Scotland lead was only two points at the break. Russell extended the visitors’ advantage with a 49th-minute penalty, and Gregor Townsend’s side were able to see out a famous win.
Wales v Ireland
Wales were the only home team to win on the opening weekend of Six Nations 2021, but they were made to work hard to do so. That was despite playing against 14 players from the 14th minute, when Peter O’Mahony was sent off.
Shortly after the red card the hosts went 6-0 up, but the 14 men rallied and Tadhg Beirne’s try helped Ireland build a 13-6 half-time lead. Second-half tries from George North and Louis Rees-Zammit helped Wales secure only a second Championship victory under Wayne Pivac.
What happened in Round Two?
England v Italy
Defending champions England bounced back from Calcutta Cup defeat, and conceding first against Italy, to run in six tries during a 41-18 win at Twickenham. Less than three minutes were on the clock when Azzurri winger Monty Ioane scored the first try of the match, but the hosts recovered before half-time to cross through Jonny Hill, Anthony Watson and a spectacular Jonny May effort.
Watson grabbed a second try after the restart, while Jack Willis and Elliot Daly scored late on, either side of a Tommaso Allan effort for the visitors. Moments after he scored, Willis suffered what seemed a serious injury and departed the field on a stretcher.
Scotland v Wales
Wales made it two wins from two in Six Nations 2021, and briefly went top of the table, with a nail-biting 25-24 defeat of 14-man Scotland at Murrayfield. In freezing conditions in Edinburgh the hosts built a 17-8 half-time lead thanks to tries from Darcy Graham and Stuart Hogg.
Louis Rees-Zammit had scored his first try minutes before the break, and the visitors mounted a comeback in the second period as Liam Williams cut their arrears. Scotland prop Zander Fagerson was then shown a red card before Wales took the lead when Wyn Jones scored. Hogg’s second try put the hosts back in front, but Wales claimed a narrow win as Rees-Zammit produced a stunning finish with 10 minutes left.
Ireland v France
Tries from Charles Ollivon and Demian Penaud helped France to a first win in Dublin for a decade, as the hosts succumbed to a maiden home defeat under Andy Farrell. Ireland took the lead through a Billy Burns penalty, but Les Bleus seized control of the match when Ollivon crossed the whitewash and Matthieu Jalibert converted.
France opened up a 12-point lead in the second half when Penaud scored in the right corner. Ireland hit back almost immediately as Ross Byrne converted Ronan Kelleher’s smartly taken try and narrowed the deficit to just two points as the former struck a penalty with 15 minutes left. France, though, held on for a hard-fought 15-13 victory.
What happened in Round Three?
Italy v Ireland
Ireland secured their first win of the Six Nations 2021 in fine style, running in six tries during a 48-10 defeat of Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.
Garry Ringrose, Hugo Keenan and Will Connors all crossed the whitewash in the first period for Andy Farrell’s side before Johan Meyer answered for the Azzurri with a try that made the half-time score 27-10. Ireland regained control in the second half and scored a further three tries, through CJ Stander, Connors and replacement Keith Earls.
Wales v England
Hosts Wales beat England 40-24 in an eventful match at the Principality Stadium to secure the Triple Crown and keep their Grand Slam hopes alive.
Josh Adams scored the opening try of the match following a quickly taken Dan Biggar penalty, while Liam Williams scored the second. Anthony Watson crossed for England before the break, and after Kieran Hardy’s try for Wales, Ben Youngs’ score helped level the tie at 24-24.
However, Wales scored 16 unanswered points in the final 18 minutes, including a Cory Hill try, to put the seal on victory.
France v Scotland
In a match that had to be played after Round Five, Duhan van der Merwe’s late try helped 14-man Scotland secure a first victory over France in Paris since 1999, and ended their hosts’ Championship hopes.
France needed to record a bonus-point and win by at least 21 points to overhaul Wales at the top of the Six Nations 2021 standings. However, it was Scotland who scored the match’s first try, through Van der Merwe, before Brice Dulin replied to hand Les Bleus a 13-10 half-time lead.
France added unconverted tries through Damian Penaud and Swann Rebbadj in the second period, either side of a Dave Cherry effort, meaning the score was 23-20 when Finn Russell was shown a late red card. Les Bleus were unable to build on their lead in the closing nine minutes, instead losing Baptiste Serin to the sin bin and then seeing Van Der Merwe power over the line in the final play of the match.
What happened in Round Four?
Italy v Wales
Wales are one win away from a Grand Slam following a convincing 48-7 defeat of Italy in Rome.
Josh Adams, Taulupe Faletau and Ken Owens (twice) all breached the Azzurri line to give Wayne Pivac’s side a bonus point before half-time. George North — who equalled Shane Williams’ Welsh record of 22 Championship tries — Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit each crossed the whitewash after the break.
Monty Ioane added a try for Italy 10 minutes into the second half, but it was little more than consolation for the hosts.
England v France
France’s Grand Slam hopes were extinguished on Saturday at Twickenham, where Maro Itoje’s late try helped England secure a 23-20 victory.
Antoine Dupont and Anthony Watson exchanged a couple of well-worked early tries, before Damian Penaud finished off the best of the lot to give Les Bleus a 17-13 half-time lead. Jalibert and Owen Farrell each struck second-half penalties before Itoje powered over from close range, just, to edge it for England.
Scotland v Ireland
A late Johnny Sexton penalty proved the difference as Ireland made it back-to-back Six Nations win with a 27-24 victory at Murrayfield.
Robbie Henshaw scored the match’s first try before Finn Russell replied for Scotland, after the ball had rebounded towards him from Stuart Hogg’s face. The hosts scored two second-half tries, through Huw Jones and Hamish Watson, but a Tadhg Beirne effort and the boot of Sexton edged it for the visitors.
What happened in Round Five?
France v Wales
Brice Dulin scored with the last play of an enthralling match in Paris to deny Wales a Grand Slam and ensure France head into their rearranged meeting with Scotland with a chance to win the Championship.
In a pulsating contest at the Stade de France, the sides each scored twice in the opening quarter to go into half-time with the score level at 17-17. Wales looked to have taken control in the second period when Josh Adams was adjudged to have dotted the ball down.
The visitors took a 10-point lead when Mohamed Haouas was sin-binned with 22 minutes left. France were then reduced to 14 men permanently in the 67th minute as Paul Willemse was shown a red card.
But, with Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams both in the bin for Wales, Les Bleus wrestled back control and scored two tries in the final five minutes — through captain Charles Ollivon and Dulin — to snatch victory.
Ireland v England
First-half tries from Keith Earls and Jack Conan helped Ireland to a 32-18 defeat of England at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland led 20-6 at the break as Earls profited from a lineout move involving Conan before the number eight got in on the act himself. Johnny Sexton’s trusty boot stretch the Irish advantage to 20 points before an English resurgence in the final quarter.
Ben Youngs and Jonny May both breached the Irish goal-line, but it proved too little too late as England slipped to a third defeat of the Championship.
Scotland v Italy
Hosts Scotland ran in eight tries against Italy at Murrayfield, to record their biggest ever Six Nations winning margin.
Things began brightly for the Azzurri as Luca Bigi scored the opening try within the first five minutes. However, his opposite number, Dave Cherry, soon replied for Scotland and Duhan van der Merwe, Darcy Graham and Huw Jones all crossed the whitewash before half-time.
Cherry and Van der Merwe each scored a second try after the break, while Scott Steele and Sam Johnson also got in on the act as Scotland prepared for their trip to Paris with a convincing win.
What is the Six Nations?
The Six Nations Championship is an international rugby tournament involving England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. It was first contested between 16 December, 1882 and 3 March, 1883 by England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales under the guise of the Home Nations Championship. France competed in the tournament between 1910-31 and since 1947, while the tournament became the Six Nations in 2000, when Italy joined the fray.
A Women’s Home Nations Championship was first held in 1996. Three years later France made it a Five Nations, while Spain were admitted in 2000. Italy replaced Spain in the Women’s Six Nations in 2007.
Who has won the Six Nations the most times?
Since the Five Nations Championship became the Six Nations in 2000, England have won seven men’s titles — or a third of the tournaments played. France and Wales have won five, while Ireland have won four. Wales have won more men’s Grand Slams (four) than any other nation in that period. England are the most successful team in the overall history of the Championship having enjoyed 29 outright successes and shared the title on a further 10 occasions since that first match in 1882. England have won 13 Grand Slams since the tournament’s inception, one more than Wales.
England won the first Women’s Home Nations Championship in 1996, and have gone on to claim the title a record 16 times in total. On all-but one of those occasions the Red Roses have completed a Grand Slam. France have won the Championship six times (five Grand Slams), while Ireland (twice) are the only other nation to have lifted the women’s Championship since it became the Six Nations in 2002.
Who has received the most red cards in Six Nations history?
Peter O’Mahony became the first Ireland player to be sent off in the Six Nations and only the second in the entire history of the Championship, after Willie Duggan (1983), when he was dismissed by referee Wayne Barnes in the 14th minute of his side’s 21-16 defeat to Wales in the opening round of Six Nations 2021.
In total, nine players have been sent off in the Six Nations. Italy have fallen foul of the referee the most in this respect, with three players dismissed. Walter Cristofoletto gained notoriety as the first player to be sent off in Six Nations history – against France in 2000, the year the Azzurri were admitted into the competition – and scrum-half legend Alessandro Troncon joined him on the list the following year after an incident against Ireland. The most recent Italian to be red carded was prop Michele Rizzo, against France in 2014. France prop Rabah Slimani was sent off in the same game by Jaco Peyper. Mohamed Haouas then became the second French prop to be sent off in Les Bleus’ Six Nations 2020 loss to Scotland.
Both of Scotland’s red cards came in matches against Wales, their opponents in round two of Six Nations 2021. Scott Murray was the first to go in 2006 and eight years later, Scotland found themselves down to 14 men when Stuart Hogg was dismissed for foul play. Wales, meanwhile, have an unblemished record, and England did too, until Manu Tuilagi blotted their copybook with a dangerous tackle on George North towards the end of their Six Nations 2020 win over Wales.
Who won last year’s tournament?
England won the Six Nations Championship 2020. Although Eddie Jones’ side lost against France in Paris on the opening weekend, they recovered to win their next four matches. Les Bleus, meanwhile, were beaten by Scotland in the final match before the tournament was postponed due to the pandemic. England and France ended the Six Nations 2020 level on 18 points, with four wins and one defeat, but the former claimed the Championship due to their superior points difference.
Last year’s Women’s Six Nations was also won by England. The Red Roses were the only team able to play all five of their scheduled matches due to the pandemic, and Simon Middleton’s side won each of them. England secured a second successive Grand Slam with a 54-26 defeat of Italy in Parma on 1 November. They will hope to maintain that form this year, with Rugby World Cup 2021 coming into view.
Are fans going to be allowed into stadiums during the 2021 Championship?
An announcement on allowing fans to attend matches has not yet been made, but will depend on the latest government guidance in each of the competing nations.
Where can I watch it?
Television coverage of the men’s tournament in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, while Wales’ matches are also shown on S4C. Fans in Ireland can also access the action on Virgin Media, while in France the Championship is shown on France 2, and via DMAX in Italy. International rights for the Six Nations are held by a number of broadcasters, including BeIn Sports, DAZN, ESPN, NBC Sports and SuperSport.
When does the Six Nations start?
The opening matches of the men’s Six Nations 2021 are scheduled to be played on 6 February, 2021, when Italy host France in Rome and Scotland face England at Twickenham. Wales are scheduled to play Ireland at the Principality Stadium 24 hours later.
What are the squads for Six Nations 2021?
World Rugby U20 Championship graduates Paolo Odogwu and Harry Randall have received their first call-ups to the senior England squad ahead of Six Nations 2021. Eddie Jones named the in-form duo in a 28-man squad for England’s Championship defence on Friday. Beno Obano, whose sole England appearance came in a non-cap match against the Barbarians in 2019, could also make his test debut next month. Courtney Lawes returns following injury, while Mako Vunipola will continue his own rehabilitation during the tournament. Joe Launchbury, Joe Marler and Sam Underhill have since withdrawn from the squad, with Charlie Ewels, the uncapped Tom West and Jack Willis replacing them. Jones, meanwhile, has selected a “shadow squad” that includes seven uncapped players.
Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ben Earl (Bristol Bears), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Tom West (Wasps), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Willis (Wasps), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons).
Backs: Elliot Daly (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens, capt.), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), Max Malins (Bristol Bears), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Paolo Odogwu (Wasps), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Shadow squad: Charlie Atkinson (Wasps), Ali Crossdale (Saracens), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester Tigers), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), David Ribbans (Northampton Saints), Jacob Umaga (Wasps).
France coach Fabien Galthié has selected three uncapped players in his 37-man squad for Six Nations 2021. Racing 92 pair Donovan Taofifenua and Georges-Henri Colombe, and Stade Français centre Julien Delbouis will all hope to make their test debuts when Les Bleus kick off their campaign against Italy in Rome on 6 February. France will be without fly-half Romain Ntamack, Virimi Vakatawa, Demba Bamba and Cameron Woki during this year’s tournament, while Vincent Rattez was called up to the squad on Monday to replace Thomas Ramos.
Forwards: Dorian Aldgheri (Toulouse), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Georges-Henri Colombe (Racing 92), Dylan Cretin (Lyon), Francois Cros (Toulouse), Killian Geraci (Lyon), Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier), Anthony Jelonch (Castres), Hassane Kolingar (Racing 92), Thomas Lavault (Stade Rochelais), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Charles Ollivon (Toulon, capt.), Thierry Paiva (Bordeaux Bègles), Baptiste Pesenti (Pau), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Selevasio Tolofua (Toulouse), Paul Willemse (Montpellier).
Backs: Pierre-Louis Barassi (Lyon), Anthony Bouthier (Montpellier), Louis Carbonel (Toulon), Baptiste Couilloud (Lyon), Julien Delbouis (Stade Français), Brice Dulin (La Rochelle), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Gaël Fickou (Stade Français), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux Bègles), Damian Penaud (Clermont Auvergne), Vincent Rattez (Montpellier), Baptiste Serin (Toulon), Donovan Taofifénua (Racing 92), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Gabin Villière (Toulon), Arthur Vincent (Montpellier).
With 11 tries in 22 tests, full-back Matteo Minozzi has been one of Italy’s biggest attacking threats in the last two years. However, the 24-year-old is a notable absentee from the Azzurri’s 32-man squad for the Six Nations. The Wasps player has decided not to take part in the championship for personal reasons, and as a result only one of the outside backs named by Italy head coach Franco Smith has a caps tally running into double figures – Zebre’s Mattia Bellini. The forward pack is also relatively light on international experience and includes three uncapped players: Zebre front-rowers Daniele Rimpelli (prop) and Marco Manfredi (hooker), along with Mogliano second-row Riccardo Favretto. Benetton centre Juan Ignacio Brex makes up the quartet of players in line for their test debuts.
Forwards: Luca Bigi (Zebre Rugby, capt.), Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby), Pietro Ceccarelli (Brive), Riccardo Favretto (Mogliano Rugby), Danilo Fischetti (Zebre Rugby), Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby), Marco Lazzaroni (Benetton Rugby), Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby), Marco Manfredi (Zebre Rugby), Maxime Mbanda (Zebre Rugby), Johan Meyer (Zebre Rugby), Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby), Marco Riccioni (Benetton Rugby), Daniele Rimpelli (Zebre Rugby), Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby), David Sisi (Zebre Rugby), Cristian Stoian (Fiamme Oro Rugby), Cherif Traore (Benetton Rugby), Giosuè Zilocchi (Zebre Rugby).
Backs: Tommaso Allan (Benetton Rugby), Mattia Bellini (Zebre Rugby), Callum Braley (Benetton Rugby), Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby), Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby), Paolo Garbisi (Benetton Rugby), Monty Ioane (Benetton Rugby), Federico Mori (Calvisano), Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre Rugby), Luca Sperandio (Benetton Rugby), Jacopo Trulla (Calvisano), Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby), Marco Zanon (Benetton Rugby).
Additional invited players into camp: Michelangelo Biondelli (Zebre Rugby), Tommaso Boni (Zebre Rugby), Renato Giammarioli (Zebre Rugby), Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby), Marcello Violi (Zebre Rugby).
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell named his 36-man squad for the Six Nations on Monday and included Johnny Sexton as his captain, despite the fly-half sustaining what has been described as a minor muscle injury in Leinster’s 13-10 win against Munster on Saturday. Provincial team-mate, winger James Lowe, will also be assessed this week having just returned from a groin issue, while Leinster prop Tadgh Furlong is in line to play test rugby for the time in a year after a long period on the sidelines with a calf injury. Free-scoring wing Dave Kearney was one Leinster man to miss out, however, and Ireland will also be missing Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale, the Six Nations Player of the Championship in 2018, due to a knee injury. Two uncapped players make it into the squad in scrum-half Craig Casey – preferred to Ulster’s John Cooney – and prop Tom O’Toole.
Forwards: Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne), Will Connors (Leinster/UCD), Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College), Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf), Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf), Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers), Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy), Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch), Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians), Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution), Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Banbridge), Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD), Quinn Roux (Connacht/Galwegians), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College), James Ryan (Leinster/UCD), CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon), Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD).
Backs: Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians), Billy Burns (Ulster), Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD), Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon), Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen), Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Con), Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster), Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster), Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers), Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD), Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College), James Lowe (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor), Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen), Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College, capt.).
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named four uncapped players in his 35-man squad for Six Nations 2021, which contains 20 forwards and 15 backs. Hookers, Dave Cherry and Ewan Ashman, a prolific try-scorer at World Rugby U20 Championship level, second-row Alex Craig and centre Cameron Redpath, the son of former Scotland scrum-half Bryan, are in line to make their international test debuts. Meanwhile, barnstorming back-rower Gary Graham is rewarded for his strong form for Newcastle and will be looking to add to the couple of caps he won two years ago. Winger Byron McGuigan, hooker Grant Stewart and London Irish prop Allan Dell are also back in favour. Stuart Hogg retains the captaincy.
Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), David Cherry (Edinburgh), Alex Craig (Gloucester), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (London Irish), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs), Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh).
Backs: Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, capt.), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), James Lang (Harlequins), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Scott Steele (Harlequins), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh).
Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate has been recalled to the Wales squad for Six Nations 2021, and could make his first test appearance in more than two years next month. Wales coach Wayne Pivac named a 36-man squad for the Championship, which also included recalls for Ken Owens, Adam Beard and Rhodri Jones. Flanker Josh Macleod is the only uncapped player in the party, while captain Alun Wyn Jones — who damaged knee ligaments against Italy in early December — was also included, but there was no place for scrum-half Rhys Webb.
Forwards: Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Leon Brown (Dragons), Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt.), Rhodri Jones (Ospreys), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Josh MacLeod (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Will Rowlands (Wasps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons).
Backs: Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues), Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), George North (Ospreys), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears), Nick Tompkins (Dragons), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Johnny Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues).
What are the fixtures?
Week One (6-7 February)
Italy v France
England v Scotland
Wales v Ireland
Week Two (13-14 February)
England v Italy
Scotland v Wales
Ireland v France
Week Three (27-28 February)
Italy v Ireland
Wales v England
France v Scotland
Week Four (13-14 March)
Italy v Wales
England v France
Scotland v Ireland
Week Five (20 March)
Scotland v Italy
Ireland v England
France v Wales
The Women’s Six Nations 2021 fixtures have not yet been announced, although they are traditionally played on the same weekend as the corresponding men’s match.
Where are matches played?
The men’s Six Nations 2021 matches are scheduled to be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Twickenham in south-west London, Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Murrayfield in Edinburgh and Stade de France in Paris.
How do points work?
Teams are awarded four points for a win, two for a draw and nothing for a defeat. In addition, teams are able to earn bonus points. Any team that scores four tries or more in a match is awarded an extra point, while a team that loses by seven points or less also earns a bonus point. If a team scores four tries or more while losing by less than seven points, they are awarded both bonus points.
If a team wins all five of their matches, meanwhile, they are automatically awarded three ‘Grand Slam’ bonus points to ensure that team wins the Championship.