More than only Six Nations Trophy on offer in Championship
TROPHIES: While a Grand Slam, the greatest achievement in the Six Nations, does not come with an actual prize, there are plenty of trophies on offer in rugby’s oldest Championship.
Even before the opening round of this year’s Six Nations fixtures has come to its conclusion, two pieces of silverware will have in fact been held aloft by the respective captains.
Here’s our guide to what’s on offer:
SIX NATIONS TROPHY
Since 1993, the title-winning team – regardless of whether they have managed a clean sweep of wins or not – has received the splendid Six Nations trophy in recognition of their endeavours. It may be hard to believe, but before the Earl of Westmoreland came up with the idea, no trophy was on offer.
The 15-sided trophy was first awarded to France and remained in existence until 2014, when a new piece of silverware was commissioned and brought into use.
Awarded to one of the Home Nations for beating all three others in a single Championship season, the Triple Crown was another honour in name only.
The Triple Crown was apparently first referred to as such by the Irish Times in 1894 but it wasn’t until 2016 that teams played for an actual physical trophy.
Named after the disbanded Calcutta Football Club in India and made from 270 melted down rupees, the Calcutta Cup is presented to the winner of the England v Scotland match.
It was first played for at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh in 1879, making it the oldest trophy in the history of rugby, and has been contested annually, bar a break for the two World Wars and a dispute between the teams in the 1880s.
The winner of the Six Nations fixture between Ireland and Scotland becomes the proud owner of a trophy called the Centenary Quaich – a quaich being a Celtic drinking vessel.
The trophy has been presented to the winners of the fixture since 1989. To date Ireland have won it 17 times to Scotland’s 14.
DODDIE WEIR CUP
Introduced in honour of the former Scotland second-row who was first diagnosed with MND in June 2017, it has done much to raise awareness and funds ever since.
Scotland and Wales, a team he became very familiar with during his 61-cap career, having played against them no less than eight times, first competed for the cup in 2018.
Aside from annual bragging rights and historic rivalry, there is a latter-day tangible reward for victory in the Six Nations fixture between Ireland and England.
The Millennium Trophy, a curious prize with a design based on a Viking helmet, was created to mark the city of Dublin’s 1 000th anniversary in 1988.
GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI TROPHY
Sculptor and former France captain Jean-Pierre Rives designed this trophy, which is presented to the winner of the France v Italy Six Nations fixture.
It is named after the 19th-century French-born Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was a leader in the unification of Italy and a volunteer in the French Republican Army against Prussia.
Italy have only managed to lift it twice, in 2011 and 2013.
AULD ALLIANCE TROPHY
Perhaps the least well-known of the Six Nations specific trophies, the Auld Alliance Trophy is played for whenever Scotland meet France in the Six Nations.
The name references the Auld Alliance that dates back to 1295 and was primarily a military and diplomatic accord between France and Scotland.
It was first played for in 2018 and is a tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice by losing their lives in the line of duty during World War One.