Guinness Six Nations 2023: team guides, key players, Priority rewards | The Drop | Inspiration | O2
Guinness Six Nations: what you need to know about the teams
Supporting England? Make sure you #WearTheRose this tournament
The England Rugby men will be looking to revive their fortunes after the Autumn Nations Series, when they won just one of their four matches (although there was also a draw against New Zealand), and having finished third in last year’s Guinness Six Nations. With new head coach Steve Borthwick at the helm, England will want to get back to winning ways to kick off their World Cup year in style. Fullback Freddie Steward and scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet are rising stars who could light up the tournament, while legends such as Manu Tuilagi and Owen Farrell will be on hand to ensure continuity. Whatever we get from this new-look England side, you know one thing is for certain: they’ll leave everything out on the field.
The Scottish and English rugby teams’ bitter rivalry dates back to 1871, when they faced off in Scotland’s first-ever international game. While Scotland came fourth in last year’s Guinness Six Nations, they’ve been on a winning streak against England. The Scots have claimed the Calcutta Cup (given to the winner of England-Scotland matches) in four of the teams’ last five clashes, including a draw which meant they kept the title. England will be gunning to get the cup back. Find out who wins this time at Twickenham on 4 February.
Wales have been the most successful team in the Six Nations since 2005. This time around, the team will be hoping to recreate the magic from the last time they won the tournament – which included the Triple Crown, meaning they beat England, Scotland and Ireland – in 2021. (They’d probably rather forget their fifth-place finish last year). You can see them take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on 25 February.
Ireland stormed up the international rugby rankings in 2022 to end the year as the world’s number-one team. They were unbeaten in the Autumn Nations Series and in last year’s Guinness Six Nations, they achieved their biggest win over England at Twickenham since 1964. So England will need to be at their very best if they want to avenge that result against an Ireland side filled with talent – although last time they faced them in front of the Irish fans, England won 32-20 with Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi dominant. Watch Ireland play England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 18 March.
Could last year’s Guinness Six Nations have been a turning point for the Azzurri? Until then, the Italians hadn’t won a Six Nations game since 2015 – so their 2022 victory against Wales must have felt like a mighty relief. But they’ve still never beaten England in the Six Nations championship and they’ve conceded at least 36 points on each of their last four visits to Twickenham, losing those games by a combined score of 181-64. England will be confident of another big win when they face the Italians at home on 12 February.
The defending Guinness Six Nations champions clinched the title last March with a 25-13 win over England at the Stade de France that also sealed the Grand Slam of five victories in a tournament. Currently second in the world rankings, France will be looking at a second consecutive title as perfect preparation for the World Cup later in the year. But England will similarly want to lay down an important marker by avenging last term’s defeat against Les Bleus. They’ll be roared on with home advantage in this ultimate showdown at Twickenham on 11 March.