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- Cardiff, Dublin, Paris
- MAR 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
- MAR 11, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Played annually, the format of the RBS Six Nations Championship is simple: each team plays every other team once, with home field advantage alternating from one year to the next.
Two points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss and unlike most other rugby union competitions the bonus point system is not used.
Victory in every game results in the victorious team being awarded the coveted 'Grand Slam'.
Several individual competitions take place under the umbrella of the Six Nations tournament. The oldest is the Calcutta Cup, which has been running since 1879 and is contested between England and Scotland. The Millennium Trophy has been awarded to the winner of the game between England and Ireland since, oddly given its name, 1988. Since 2007, France and Italy have also contested for their own silverware - the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy. It was created for the 200th anniversary to honour the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi who helped unify Italy and was also a French military general.
England are the current title holders, unseating France who won the Grand Slam in 2010. England won the 2011 title on 19th March but also lost out on the Grand Slam the same day as they suffered a heavy final day defeat to Ireland. France are the bookie's favourite to regain their title this year, after they were 2011 Rugby World Cup runners-up, beating second-favourites Wales en route to the final.