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A history of the contested trophies at the Six Nations

The countdown to the 2020 Six Nations Championship is well and truly on. Since the last major tournament – the Rugby World Cup – four out of the six nations have changed coaches. Early Six Nations odds predict Eddie Jones’ England to be crowned champions, although the bookies don’t expect them to win the Grand Slam.

Six nations league photo
Six nations league photo

While all participants will be hoping to get their hands on the Championship Trophy, rival nations will be looking for glory in their own respective battles. As of the 2019 edition, there are six other accolades up for grabs. In readiness for next year’s tournament, let’s take a look at the other trophies awarded at the Six Nations.

Calcutta Cup

The Calcutta Cup is the oldest trophy, awarded to the winner of the match between England and Scotland. It was first competed for in 1879 when the two nations played out a draw, but England were the victors the following year.

In the history of the cup, England have been winners 70 times to Scotland’s 40, with 16 fixtures ending in a draw. Despite drawing their last match 38-38, Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup earlier this year and will look to defend their title for a third year running at Murrayfield on February 8th.

Millennium Trophy

The Millennium Trophy was established in 1988 as part of Dublin’s Millennial celebrations and is awarded to the winner of the Six Nations fixture between Ireland and England. The first trophy was awarded to England, but not as a part of what was then the Five Nations.

England won the 1989 Five Nations match between the two and are also the current holders of the Millennium Trophy. The Red Roses have 19 wins to Ireland’s 13 and the two sides will do battle in next year’s tournament on February 23rd at Twickenham.

Centenary Quaich

A quaich is a Celtic drinking vessel, thus the award is contested between Ireland and Scotland, strictly at the Six Nations. The award was established in 1989 back when the tournament was the Five Nations.

Despite Scotland’s early dominance, winning the trophy every year but once between 1989 and 1999, Ireland have made a comeback. As things stand, Ireland have 16 wins to Scotland’s 14 (with one fixture drawn) and are the current holders of the Centenary Quaich. They will be looking for a third successive victory at the 2020 Six Nations when the two clash in Dublin on February 1st.

Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy

France and Italy have contested the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy since 2007, with the title strictly limited to the winner of their Six Nations clash. The cup was created in honour of the Italian revolutionary born in Nice and inaugurated in celebration of the bicentenary of Garibaldi’s birth.

Since it was established, France have won 11 matches to Italy’s two. Italy’s first win was incredibly close, 22-21, while their more recent win in 2013 was enough to keep them from the foot of the standings that year. The sides will meet at the Stade de France on February 9th.

Auld Alliance Trophy

The Auld Alliance Trophy is awarded to the annual winner of the Six Nations match between France and Scotland. Established in 2018, it is named after the 13th century allegiance that the two countries signed and commemorates their alliance.

Marking the centenary of the end of World War I last year, the cup was created as a mark of respect to the French and Scottish rugby players who lost their lives during the conflict – Scotland were the winners on that occasion. However, France were victorious at the 2019 Six Nations and will travel to Murrayfield on March 8th to contest the trophy once more.

Doddie Weir Cup

Inaugurated in 2018, the Doddie Weir Cup is the newest honour and it is contested between Scotland and Wales. The trophy is a tribute to former Scottish international Doddie Lock who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, as a way of creating awareness.

Not only limited to the Six Nations Championship, the award has been won by Wales twice so far – first at 2018’s Autumn International and more recently at the 2019 Six Nations. The two sides will meet again on March 14th at the Millennium Stadium.

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