The ‘Six Nations’ Tournament starts today. A sort of ‘northern hemisphere’ championship for national Rugby Union teams.

England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy are the competing countries. In last years competition, Scotland did remarkably well (certainly a lot better than the sports ‘pundits’ expected them to do.) They did have the home ground advantage when facing their toughest opponents, England and France, and against all expectations, won both games (being, in fact, the only team to beat France who went on to become the overall winners) They also beat Italy in Rome to win three out of their five matches, something that only the most blinkered optimist would have predicted before the kick off. Needless to say, expectations are a little higher this year! Their firsty game is later today, against the auld enemy, England, who are the hosts this year. I don’t expect a famous victory this year, but I do expect a strong showing with just a hint of promise. Later this year there is the Rugby World Cup, so this is the perfect opportunity to see, at least half of the major teams in action. On the ship at the moment, we don’t have any French or Italians, but we do have English, Scots, Irish and Welsh, not to mention South Africans, Aussies and Kiwis who will also be interested to see the relative performances prior to the world cup in France.

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