Six Countries Compete 15 Games Over 2 Months
In a recent study, the world’s most attended sports competition wasn’t the NFL, the FIFA World Cup, La Liga, or the Premier League. It was the Six Nations championship. According to football governing body UEFA, the annual rugby tournament between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy pulled in an average crowd of 72,000 across its 15 games in 2015 — 3,600 more than the NFL in second. The success of the Six Nations, which pits the Northern Hemisphere’s best rugby sides against each other in February and March each year, is due in part to the competition’s rich history. It dates back to 1871 and a single rugby game between England and Scotland. From there it has grown, with Ireland, Wales and France all added by 1910. The Five Nations endured until the end of the century, until the inclusion of Italy in 2000 saw the birth of the modern Six Nations.
pit – set someone or something in conflict or competition
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rank – give (someone or something) a rank or place within a grading system