With the 2015 Six Nations over and done with, we take a look at the eight key learnings from this years tournament…
1.It is still the greatest annual sporting tournament on earth
The 2015 Six Nations may have started off slow, however the final round of matches provided enough entertainment to more than make up for some of the disappointments beforehand. There isn’t another annual tournament that brings so many fans together in such a positive way!
2.More needs to be done to encourage games like we saw in Round 5
Whether it be looking at introducing bonus points, or finding other ways to encourage open attacking rugby, the powers that be need to look to re-create somewhere near the level of entertainment witnessed during the final round of matches on a regular basis.
3.Ireland are Europe’s strongest contender for the World Cup
Ireland proved once more that they are the most well drilled and clinical side in Europe as the carried out Joe Schmidt’s game plan to perfection in all but one of their games. They even demonstrated their ability to play some great attacking rugby in the final game against Scotland.
4.It’s time for the Wallabies to start worrying
Group A is shaping up to be a real dog fight during the World Cup with both England and Wales showing enough promise to serious worry the Wallabies coaching staff. If they’re not careful they could find themselves out of the tournament before the knock-out rounds begin.
5.Scotland still have a lot of work to do
Whilst Scotland may have thrilled fans with some of their ambitious play, they still clearly have a long way to go after finishing bottom of the table. They are however still a young side, and simply need to learn to play rugby in the right areas of the pitch.
6.France’s biggest problem right now is their coach
We saw enough glimpses of what the current French side are capable of in the final game of the Six Nations to suggest the issue lies not with the players, but with the coach. They would do well to find a head coach who plays to the current sides strengths.
7.The 2017 Lions tour is shaping up to be a great one
One of the most pleasing aspects of the 2015 Six Nations was the young British and Irish talent on show. If these players can continue developing as such then the Lions tour in 2017 should be one of the best yet with the biggest problem being too much choice for the coaches.
8.There have to be concerns about the future for rugby in Italy
Whilst Italy will be delighted not to have finished bottom of the table once again, the number of points they conceded, coupled with their monumental collapse against Wales must be a serious concern for the side, especially with so many experienced players nearing the end of their careers.