The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The current champions are Ireland, who won the 2018 tournament.
The 2018 Six Nations Championship was the 19th series of the Six Nations Championship, the annual northern hemisphere rugby union championship. The tournament continued to be sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, via its subsidiary NatWest, so was branded the NatWest 6 Nations.
Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.
The England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship outright on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful team in the tournament's history. They are ranked third in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 19 March 2018. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003. They were also runners-up in 1991 and 2007.
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. The team competes annually in the current Six Nations Championship, which they have won fourteen times outright and shared nine times in its various formats. The team also competes every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions. Ireland is also one of the four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions – players eligible to play for Ireland are also eligible for the Lions.
The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is known as the country's national sport. The team has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015, as well as the inaugural tournament in 1987.
Jonah Tali Lomu was a New Zealand rugby union player. He became the youngest ever All Black when he played his first international in 1994 at the age of 19 years and 45 days. Playing on the wing Lomu finished his international career with 63 caps and 37 tries. He is regarded as the first true global superstar of rugby and consequently had a huge impact on the game. Lomu was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame on 9 October 2007, and the IRB Hall of Fame on 24 October 2011.
Ben Volavola is an Australian-born Fijian international rugby union footballer who plays for French Top 14 team Racing 92. He has previously played for Super Rugby clubs such as the Waratahs, Crusaders, and most recently the Rebels. Volavola can play as either a fly-half or full back.
The World Rugby Sevens Series is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments run by World Rugby featuring national sevens teams. The series, organised for the first time in the 1999–2000 season, was formed to develop an elite-level competition series between rugby nations and develop the sevens game into a viable commercial product for World Rugby. The competition was originally known as the IRB World Sevens Series, but has been known officially as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 2014 due to sponsorship from banking group HSBC.
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league club competition in the Northern hemisphere. The league has twelve teams: eleven from England and one from France. Canadian and Welsh clubs that compete in the Rugby Football League can also qualify. Colloquially known in the UK as the Super League it is referred to internationally as the English Super League (ESL).
Rory David Best is an Irish rugby union player and is currently the captain of Ireland's International team. He plays hooker for Ulster and is registered for Banbridge RFC. With over 100 caps for Ireland since 2005, Best is one of the most capped players in Irish national team history.