France, last year’s Rugby World Cup hosts are well-fancied to bounce back in the Six Nations which starts again this weekend, writes David Little, a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.
This year the tournament build-up has been dominated by talk of changes on the captaincy front. Tournament favourites France will be led by Gregory Alldritt in the absence of Antoine Dupont, while Owen Farrell is replaced by Saracens teammate Jamie George as England captain.
For Ireland, Peter O’Mahony steps in for the recently retired Johnny Sexton and Wales lock Dafydd Jenkins stands in for the injured skipper Jac Morgan, while Rory Darge and Finn Russell have been named as the new co-captains for Scotland.
Since 2020 the Six Nations has had four different winners, with England (2020), Wales (2021) and France (Grand Slam Winners 2022) all claiming the famous trophy before Ireland completed a clean sweep of their own in 2023.
One of the defining moments in Welsh rugby history occurred in 2005 when we clinched the Grand Slam, a feat that showcased their dominance in the tournament. Under the guidance of coach Mike Ruddock, Wales played with flair, determination, and a sense of unity that left their opponents in awe. The final showdown against Ireland was a nerve-wracking encounter, but Wales emerged victorious with a 32-20 triumph, securing their first Grand Slam in 27 years.
Fast forward to 2013, and Wales led by the inspirational Sam Warburton, secured another Grand Slam, showcasing their consistency and prowess in the championship. The pivotal moment came in the clash against England, where Wales secured a dramatic 30-3 victory, solidifying their dominance and underlining their ability to rise to the occasion.
In recent years, the emergence of players like Alun Wyn Jones has further strengthened Wales’ legacy in the Six Nations. Jones, one of the most capped players in rugby history, has been instrumental in guiding Wales to crucial victories, displaying not just skill but an unwavering commitment to the red jersey.
The 2021 Six Nations saw Wales claim the championship title once again, defeating their rivals in a campaign that highlighted their resilience and determination. Under coach Wayne Pivac, they showcased a blend of experience and youthful exuberance, with standout performances from rising stars like Louis Rees-Zammit.
It’s the start of a new Six Nations. Could Wales do it again?
We can but hope.
Contact our Corporate & Commercial / Sports Law Solicitor
David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB449 on either 07968 027343 or 020 7631 4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above is accurate as at 02 February 2024. The information above may be subject to change.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.