The Six Nations Championship, also called the Guinness Six Nations due to sponsorship naming rights, is an annual international rugby union tournament involving teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy. Wales is the current champion after winning the 2019 contest.
The first international rugby union competition was held in 1883 between the four nations of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Between 1883-1909 and then 1932-39, the tournament was known as the Home Nations Championship.
During 1910-31 and then 1947-99, it was called the Five Nations Championship as France was also part of the competition. In 2000, it became and remains the Six Nations Championship, with Italy being the sixth country to participate.
Two teams of 15 players each compete in eighty minutes matches split into two forty-minute halves. The aim of a game of rugby union is to score more points than the opposing team through tries and goals. During a match, tries are worth five points and a subsequent successful kick at a goal (‘conversion’) is worth a further two points.
Three points are also awarded if a player scores a goal during the general course of play or if a penalty kick for major infringements from the opposing side is converted to a goal.
During the annual tournament, each team plays all of the other teams once, creating a total of 15 games and include both home and away games. In the past, the winner of each match received two points, while one point was awarded for a draw and no points for a loss.
A bonus points system was trialled at the 2017 Championship and remains in operation today. This altered the way in which points were awarded after matches, with four points given for a win and two points for a draw.
In addition, one bonus point is awarded to any team which either scores at least four tries in a game, or loses a game by less than eight points. On top of this, if a team wins all five of their matches, which is known as a Grand Slam, they receive a further three bonus points to guarantee they finish with a minimum of 23 points.
Up until 1994, teams with an equal number of match points shared the premiership. More recently, ties have been decided using a range of additional results, including the differences in points and the total number of tries scored during the tournament.
The winning team of the Six Nations receives a Championship Trophy. Conversely, the team that has the least number of points at the end of the championship wins the Wooden Spoon, but a physical trophy is not awarded in this case.
Wales holds the most titles with 39 overall, comprising 27 outright wins and 12 shared. This is followed by England, with 38 victories, including 10 shared victories.
There have been calls for two additional nations, Georgia and Romania to take part in the championship due to their steady successes in other international rugby union tournaments.
How To Watch Six Nations Rugby NZ
In New Zealand you can watch all the games live on Bein Sports. This means you’ll need a paid subscription to watch the live streams.
Over in Australia, Bein Sports also have the rights with games being shown on Kayo Sports under an agreement.
In the UK you can watch all games live on BBC iPlayer and ITV. All Wales games are also shown in Welsh on S4C.
Step 1: Get A VPN Provider
To watch Six Nations in the UK (free) you need to use an UK VPN to fool their website into thinking you’re in UK.
There are many different VPN providers out there on the web, from our experience the cheapest and most affordable option is PureVPN.
You’ll be able to buy a VPN using your New Zealand credit card/Paypal.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN Application
You’ll need to decide how you plan on accessing UK TV. You could use your smart TV, Apple TV or just a computer web browser.
You’ll need to download the PureVPN Application to your device first, then the local app or visit their website.
Step 3: Choose UK Server
You’ll now need to connect through to a UK based server. If you’re given an option of which city then I’d choose the city in which you wish to watch games. For Scotland choose Glasgow, England London and Belfast for Ireland.
You’ll be advised by the VPN app once your IP has changed and you’re routing your connection via UK.
Login with the details you were provided via email during signup.
You’ll now be able to load the tournament live and on demand and stream away.
Step 4: Start Watching Six Nations Live Stream
You’ll now be able to play any of the on demand content available too.
Keep your account and watch more geoblocked content from all over the world. Read some of our other guides for other channels and content.