Ireland's rugby is likely to make history as the country prepares to face off arch-rival England in the 2023 Six Nations Championship.
The Six Nations Championship is an annual rugby union competition held between six European countries, namely Ireland, Wales, Italy, England, France, and Scotland. The tournament is one of the most prestigious rugby events, and millions of fans around the world tune in to watch the matches.
Initially, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales contested the first Home Nations Championship in 1883. After Italy's addition in 2000, the competition becomes the Six Nation Championship as we know today.
The 2023 Six Nations Championship, which lasts from early February to mid-March, provides fans with five weeks of fierce competition. The competition is now in its final week, with one more round of fixtures to decide the winner of the title and the order of countries behind them.
How to watch the Six Nations final?
According to Sporting News, in the last week, all three matches will be played on Saturday, March 18, with kick-off times of 12:30, 14:45, and 17:00 GMT.
In the USA, all matches will be streamed live on Peacock and available on fuboTV. They will also be shown later on CNBC with a delay of a few hours. Meanwhile, in the UK, the games will be broadcasted on BBC and ITV, with S4C also airing them in Wales, reports News 24.
What is the winning prize?
According to Ruck.co.uk, the winning team of the Six Nations Championship will receive a prize money share of £6 million, while the runner-up will receive £3.5 million.
Specifically, the total prize money handed out in recent Six Nations tournaments is around £16 million, with the winning team receiving £6 million; Runner-ups, £3.5m; Third Place, £2.5m; Fourth Place, £2m; and Bottom £1 million.
Additionally, if a team wins all their five games through the tournament, they are awarded the Grand Slam bonus of £1 million. In the Six Nations' history, the Grand Slam has been achieved in 12 of the previous 22 editions of the Six Nations. The latest to accomplish the honor is reigning title holder France as they won all the matches in 2022.
If no team wins the Grand Slam, this extra money is shared among the other five countries, who receive £200,000 each.
Ireland's chance of 4th Grand Slam
Ireland has a chance to win their fourth grand slam in history if they can secure one more victory. They managed to overcome several injuries to beat Scotland 22-7 in the previous week, following their earlier triumphs over Wales, France, and Italy.
Although they lost to Ireland in the competition, France (Les Bleus) still have a chance to win the title, but they would require a bonus-point victory over Wales and a significant favor from England.
Meanwhile, less-favored candidate Wales managed to secure their first win of the championship against Italy, while lowly-rated Scotland hopes to end their campaign on a high note against Italy after their impressive victory against Wales.
Who has won the most Six Nations title?
According to Planet Rugby, England has won the most titles in the combined history of Home Nations, Five Nations, and Six Nations championships. They have won 29 times, and shared the title 10 times. Wales follows closely behind with 28 wins and 11 shared titles.
In the Six Nations era, England has won seven trophies, while Wales and France have won six each. Ireland has won four Six Nations championships, whereas Scotland and Italy are yet to win a title since the introduction of the modern format of the competition.