The final day of the 2015 Six Nations will live long in the memory, but can 2016’s tournament top it for excitement?
In 2016, wherever you look there are reasons to be excited. From the new coaches leading England and France into the tournament, through to young players looking to break into the teams, there is something for everyone to get excited about.
New France coach Guy Noves has already indicated he plans on ensuring his side are a much more exciting prospect than in recent years, whilst if Eddie Jones’ Japan side are anything to go by, England should prove to be an entertaining spectacle.
Add into the mix, the fact that Ireland, Wales and Scotland will all be keen to bounce back from disappointing World Cup quarterfinal exits and you have plenty of reasons to believe that 2016 could prove to be the most exciting Six Nations in recent memory.
What’s even more exciting is that coaches in the Northern Hemisphere finally seem to have accepted that in order to win games, they must score tries. The all Southern Hemisphere final four at the World Cup proved beyond reasonable doubt that heads up rugby is the way to victory on the international stage, and it looks like their Six Nations counterparts look set to follow suit.
These factors mean the 2016 Six Nations is building towards a series of highly competitive fixtures that are likely to result in plenty of tries. There’s no doubting that this year’s tournament will be one hell of a spectacle for fans, with England the Bookies pre-tournament favourites.
Not only should we expect to see plenty of top quality rugby, but there is also the post-World Cup factor with a number of senior stars stepping down from international duty. This means that the 2016 Six Nations could be the first opportunity for fans to see their sides future stars in action for the first time on the international stage.
The other exciting factor is that at this stage, the final standings in the table are almost impossible to predict. You would have to imagine that Wales, Ireland and probably England are all in with a decent shout, whilst a re-invigorated French team could cause some major upsets. There is also the Scottish factor as Vern Cotter’s men will look to build on their controversial exit from the World Cup at the hands of the Wallabies. There’s no doubting that this is definitely a tournament for the neutrals.