Coming just seven months out from Rugby World Cup 2023, this year’s Six Nations will certainly take on extra significance in terms of squad selection and as a barometer of form, but it doesn’t always follow that way.
In November it is going to be two decades in view that England have become the most effective northern hemisphere team to boost the Webb Ellis Cup, turning into champions of the arena as well as the first-rate outfit in Europe.
To date, it is the only time the Five/Six Nations-Rugby World Cup double has ever been finished, despite England having had four attempts, France two and Scotland, Ireland and Wales one apiece.
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Rugby World Cup 2023: This year Six Nations
But with two European teams currently sitting at the top of the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini in Ireland and France, and a strong set of results in the July internationals and Autumn Nations Series, can the north strike back and add to that 2003 success?
We take a look at how previous Five/Six Nations champions in Rugby World Cup years have fared at the subsequent showpiece tournament.
1987 – France fall just short
Coach Jacques Fouroux led France to their fourth Six Nations Grand Slam.
Les Bleus didn’t usually play to their satisfactory or with the style that Five Nations enthusiasts had turn out to be conversant in, but they have been deserving winners and had the identify within the bag with a spherical to spare.
Reaching the final of the inaugural Rugby World Cup probable matched their expectancies given their form leading into the tournament; however, it proved to be a recreation too a long way and the All Blacks had been crowned international champions after a 29-9 win.
For maximum of the Eighties England were in disarray and 1987 was no exception. A backside-of-the-desk finish inside the Five Nations became then observed via a tame area-very last go out at the palms of Wales.
Wales, like England, best received a single Five Nations healthy that yr but have been the handiest group from the British Isles and Ireland to make a actual impact at RWC 1987, winning the bronze medal. Third location remains their best end to date.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) January 1, 2023
1991 – England and another near miss
England waved suitable riddance to the 1980s and had been a side transformed below the brand new axis of Geoff Cooke and Will Carling.
Adopting a electricity-primarily based game with Rob Andrew offering a consistent hand at the tiller at fly-half, England claimed their first Grand Slam since 1980.
With a domestic Rugby World Cup to look ahead to, confidence turned into excessive that they might supply the products on fronts; however, a trade of processes inside the final of Rugby World Cup 1991 proved their undoing and it become Australia who were provided with the Webb Ellis Cup by way of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Wales and Ireland had been only spared the ignominy of finishing the Five Nations with out a factor to their call after sharing the points in a dour 21-21 draw in Cardiff.
Deprived of many of their celebrity names following the exodus north to Rugby League, Wales’ struggles inside the Five Nations have been matched at Rugby World Cup 1991 and that they didn’t make the knockout stages. The defeat to debutants Western Samoa ranks as one of the biggest shocks inside the tournament’s history.
Ireland, in the meantime, came inside a whisker of provoking Australia and making the remaining 4 – something that has continuously proved past them ever given that – simplest for Michael Lynagh to interrupt their hearts in a rousing stumble upon at Lansdowne Road.
A middling display inside the Five Nations from Scotland gave no indication that they might reach the semi-finals for the primary and only time at a Rugby World Cup live.
Overall record – Five/Six Nations champions/Rugby World Cup
Winners (England, 2003)
Runners-up (France 1987, England 1991)
Semi-finals (England 1995, France 2007, Wales 2019)
Quarter-finals (Scotland 1999, England 2011, Ireland 2015)