Unveiling the Champions of the Six Nations: A Look at its Legendary Winners and Biggest Victories

The Six Nations Championship is an annual clash of international rugby union titans – and the records the teams have amassed between them over the years are awe-inspiring. From England current 7 championship victories to France smashing its way through to 6 outright titles, to Wales' no less mighty 6 successes - these results span almost 23 years of epic rugby action. But who is topping the leaderboard when it comes to biggest Six Nations win? To find out, we here at TalkRugbyUnion are going to dive into the history books. Firstly, let's take a look at the top 19 players with the most appearances in history!

What Is the Six Nations Championship?

The Six Nations Championship is the annual international men’s rugby union competition between teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. It dates back to 1883 when it was originally contested as the Home Nations Championship between England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The tournament always starts on the first weekend in February and concludes on the first weekend in March. It is often referred to as the 'Rugby World Cup of the Northern Hemisphere' due to its status amongst players and fans.

In 2015, a new Six Nations Trophy was created and crafted by Thomas Lyte silversmiths to replace the 1993 edition, which was retired as it represented the nations that participated in the Five Nations Championship. The new trophy was won by Ireland, who were also the last team to win the old trophy. Designed and crafted by renowned silversmiths, the new trophy stands 31 cm high and weighs 3kg.

Who Are the Most Successful Players?

Over the years, many talented and dedicated players have competed in the Six Nations, and some of them have even earned the distinction of being among the top 19 players with the most appearances in the competition, the top players who have landed more than 18 tries, and those which have scored more than 250 points.

These players have made significant contributions to their respective teams' success and have helped make the Six Nations Championship one of the most exciting and fiercely contested events in the world of rugby. Their skill, tenacity, and unwavering commitment to their craft have enabled them to rack up impressive numbers of appearances, and their names have become synonymous with the tournament's storied history.

Whether it's the thrill of scoring a game-winning try, the satisfaction of thwarting an opponent's attack, or simply the joy of representing their country on the international stage, these players have given their all to the Six Nations Championship. And as fans of the sport continue to marvel at their accomplishments and cheer on the next generation of rugby stars, the legacy of these players will continue to endure for years to come.

Most Appearances

The top 19 players with most appearances in the competition are listed below:

Player NameAppearancesNationTime span
Sergio Parisse69Italy2004–2019
Brian O'Driscoll65Ireland2000–2014
Alun Wyn Jones65Wales2007–2023
Rory Best64Ireland2006–2019
Ronan O'Gara63Ireland2000–2013
Martin Castrogiovanni60Italy2003–2016
Cian Healy58Ireland2010–2022
Johnny Sexton58Ireland2010–2023
Mike Gibson56Ireland1964–1979
Gethin Jenkins56Wales2003–2016
Ross Ford55Scotland2006–2017
John Hayes54Ireland2000–2010
Jason Leonard54England1991–2004
Alessandro Zanni54Italy2006–2020
Leonardo Ghiraldini53Italy2007–2019
Stuart Hogg53Scotland2012–2023
Willie John McBride53Ireland1962–1975
Chris Paterson53Scotland2000–2011
Ben Youngs53England2010–2023

Most Points

Next up we have the top 11 players who have scored at least 250 points in the Six Nations Championship throughout its history:

No.Player NamePointsNation
1Ronan O'Gara557Ireland
2Johnny Sexton550Ireland
3Jonny Wilkinson546England
4Owen Farrell512England
5Stephen Jones467Wales
6Leigh Halfpenny417Wales
7Neil Jenkins406Wales
8Chris Paterson403Scotland
9Greig Laidlaw290Scotland
10Gavin Hastings288Scotland
11David Humphreys270Ireland

Most Tries

Finally, we have the players that have managed to land at least 18 tries, cementing their place in Six Nations history:

No.Player NameTriesNation
1Brian O'Driscoll26Ireland
2Ian Smith24Scotland
3George North22Wales
4Shane Williams22Wales
5Gareth Edwards18Wales
6Cyril Lowe18England
7Rory Underwood18England

Who Are Some of the Most Successful Teams in Six Nations history?

The Six Nations Championship, a competition between the top six European rugby union teams, has been dominated by England and Wales since 2000. England, ranked 6th in the world, has won 7 outright championships, 2 Grand Slams and 5 Triple Crowns, while Wales, ranked 9th, has won 6 outright championships, 4 Grand Slams, and 5 Triple Crowns.

Ireland, ranked 1st, is not far behind with 4 outright championships, 2 Grand Slams, and 6 Triple Crowns, although they have not won a Grand Slam since 2009. However, the fact that they are currently ranked the world's number 1 rugby team means that the victories ought to be forthcoming. Meanwhile, France, ranked 2nd, has achieved 6 outright championships and 4 Grand Slams, with their last one being in 2022.

Italy, ranked 12th, is still waiting for their first championship win and has received 17 Wooden Spoons. Meanwhile, Scotland, ranked 5th, has received 4 Wooden Spoons in the competition's history, and are also yet to pick up a Six Nations win, a Grand Slam, or even a Triple Crown.

How Has Each Team Fared Since 2000?

The table shows the 6 Nations champions, Grand Slam winners, and Triple Crown winners for each year of the Six Nations Championship from 2000 to 2022. The champions are the team with the most competition points at the end of the tournament, while the Grand Slam is awarded to the team that wins all of its matches against the other teams, and the Triple Crown is awarded to the home nation team (England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales) that defeats the other three home nation teams during the tournament.

The table shows that England and Wales have been the dominant teams in the championship since 2000, with each team winning multiple championships, Grand Slams, and Triple Crowns. However, other teams, such as Ireland and France, have also had success in the tournament during this time period. Without further ado, here are the Six Nations statistics from the beginning of the tournament till 2022:

YearChampionsGrand SlamTriple Crown

What Have Been Some of the Biggest Victories for Each Nation?

Over the years, there have been some record-breaking matches and seasons, and plenty of great moments. For instance, the match between England and Italy in 2001 saw the most points by one team, with England scoring 80 points. On the other hand, France lost two games, against Wales in 2001 and England in 2015, but still managed to score 35 points in both matches, setting the record for most points by a losing team. 

In terms of total points scored in a single match, the highest was in 2001 when England played Italy, with the final score being 80-23, for a total of 103 points. Meanwhile, in 2019, the match between England and Scotland resulted in a 38-38 draw, setting the record for the most points in a drawn match.

As for the most tries, Scotland holds the record for the most tries by one team, scoring 12 tries against Wales in 1887. In the same match, Scotland also set the record for the most tries in one match with a score of 12-0. England has scored 12 tries in three different matches, with the most recent one against France in 2015.

The biggest winning margin was achieved by England in 2001 against Italy, with a final score of 80-23, resulting in a 57-point difference. Ireland holds the record for the biggest away winning margin, with a 53-point difference when they played Italy in 2017, with a final score of 63-10.

The record for the longest winning streak in the Six Nations Championship is held by England, who won 18 consecutive matches between 2015 and 2017. The record for the longest unbeaten streak is also held by England, who went 22 matches without defeat between 2015 and 2018.

In terms of the season records, England holds the record for the most points scored in a season with 229 points in 2001, while Italy holds the record for most points conceded in a season, with 239 points in 2021. The fewest points scored in a Six Nations season record is held by Italy, who scored only 42 points in 2004, while England holds the record for the fewest points conceded in a season, with just 46 points in 2003.

England also set the record for the most tries scored in a season, with 29 tries in 2001, while Italy set the record for most tries conceded in a season, with 34 tries in 2021. Italy also shares the record for the fewest tries scored in a Six Nations season with only two tries scored in 2004 and 2009. Wales holds the record for the fewest tries conceded in a Six Nations season, with only two tries conceded in 2008. The 2019 season set the record for the most tries in a season, with a total of 84 tries scored. Finally, England holds the record for the biggest points difference in a season, with a +149 difference in 2001, while Italy holds the record for the weakest points difference in a season, with a -184 difference in 2021.

Finally, Wales’ top performance came in 2019 when they beat Ireland 25-7 in Cardiff to become outright champions and secure themselves a Grand Slam. The following year, 2020 saw Italy lose all their matches but still leave an imprint on history with their never ending positive spirit after Covid-19 lockdown.


The Six Nations Championship is without doubt one of the most widely watched sporting events around the world and remains an important part of rugby union. Its long history has seen many countries triumph over times and massive victory margins exceed expectations. With its unpredictable nature, the championship continually captivates us each year with its electric atmosphere, thrilling matches and unforgettable moments making it truly one of the pillars of modern rugby.

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