It’s been another incredible Six Nations Championship as the 2023 edition of the tournament comes to an end with the final round of fixtures this weekend.
‘Super Saturday’ kicks off with Scotland vs Italy in Edinburgh, followed by France vs Wales in Paris and then finally Ireland vs England in Dublin. The Irish are still chasing the Grand Slam, having picked up the Triple Crown with their victory over Scotland last weekend, but do not yet have the Championship title in their hands despite winning all their matches so far.
Although Andy Farrell’s side did conquer the French earlier in the competition, the reigning champions can still lift the trophy if results go their way this weekend. Meanwhile, the final destination of the Wooden Spoon still has to be decided . Here is everything you need to know about what each side needs to win the 2023 Six Nations Championship and avoid last place:
What do Ireland need to win the Grand Slam and the 2023 Six Nations Championship?
Ireland’s task is straightforward, a win by any margin over England secures both the Championship title and a Grand Slam, only the fourth in the history of Irish rugby. If Andy Farrell’s side can beat England in Dublin then results elsewhere on the day are meaningless in the context of the title race.
Doing so would be an incredible achievement for the side ranked number one in the world and would be a huge momentum boost going into the Rugby World Cup later this year. However, a loss to England will prevent them from winning the Grand Slam and could also hand the title to France...
What do France need to win the 2023 Six Nations Championship?
France do not have their fate in their own hands but will look to do what they can to put the pressure on Ireland when they face Wales in Paris. There are several permutations here so let’s break them down:
- If France lose to Wales then Ireland win the Championship before a ball is kicked in Dublin.
- If France beat Wales with a bonus point they go one point above Ireland before kick off in Dublin. A win for Ireland ensures the title for them but they could still win it even if they lose and pick up a losing bonus point, as long as they still have a better PD (points difference).
- If France beat Wales without a bonus point they go level on points (19) with Ireland before kick off in Dublin and top place will be the team with the better PD. Ireland would only need a losing bonus point against England to win the title.
Ahead of ‘Super Saturday’, Ireland have 19 points and a PD of 66 while France have 15 points and a PD of 46. So, if France were hypothetically to beat Wales by 10 points and Ireland were to lose to England by 10 points (and France didn’t pick up a bonus) then the two sides would be level on points and PD - so what then?
If two sides are level on points and on PD at the end of the tournament then the team who has scored the most tries would be awarded the Championship. Incredibly, Ireland and France are equal on trys scored so far this Championship with 16 each. If that statistic also finished level the the two sides are ‘placed edqually’ according to the official Six Nations website which presumably means they would share the title.
Can Italy still avoid the Wooden Spoon?
Italy do still have a shot at avoiding the Wooden Spoon this year but it is out of their hands. Firstly they would need to beat Scotland in Edinburgh and winning with a bonus point would put them ahead of Wales before kick off in Paris. Italy actually have a better PD than Wales going into the final round of fixtures (but only by two) so a win without a bonus point would still put them above the Welsh for the time being.
If Wales beat France then the Wooden Spoon goes to Italy. If Wales pick up a losing bonus point then the Wooden Spoon goes to Italy. If Italy beat Scotland by any margin and Wales lose to France without picking up a losing bonus point then the Wooden Spoon goes to Wales.