The six nation rugby tournament is one of the sport's most exciting events

Six nation rugby is an annual event played between the top sides in the northern hemisphere. England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy are the teams lucky enough to play in this prestigious event.

The tournament was originally known as the Five Nations, but became the Six Nations when Italy joined the ranks in 2000. The current holders of the Six Nations are England, who also have the honour of being the most successful team in the competition with a staggering 36 wins.

The format of six nation rugby is really simple. Each team plays each other once and the team with the most points at the end is crowned champions. Because there's only one fixture between nations every year, home advantage is swapped every year. A win is rewarded with two points, a draw earns one point and, unfortunately, a loss draws a blank in the points system.

The ultimate honour in six nation rugby is the Grand Slam. This occurs when one team defeats every other in one year. The most recent Grand Slam was when France recorded a perfect season in 2010. This was preceded by Ireland in 2009 and Wales in 2008.

A championship win is awarded to the team who finishes with the most points; if they haven't won all of their games. Other notable achievements in six nation include the Triple Crown, which is awarded to the either England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland when one team manages to defeat all others. And the Calcutta Cup is the prize for the winner of the Scotland - England game; one of the most intense rivalries in world sport.

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