Six Nations Must Look At Relegation Now!
Six nations must look at relegation NOW!
Having just watching England ease past Italy 41-18 and on the back of last week’s abysmal performance against France surely the 6N committee must look once and for all at introducing relegation into the tournament. Especially in light of Georgia’s reasonable performance in last Autumns nations cup, yes England were easy victors in that encounter however Ireland and Wales most definitely had a match on their hands. If we had seen those scores against Italy in the 6N we would have said they gave them a run.
The results don’t lie, Italy have not won a game since 2015 and in 21 years they have only failed to finish last just 6 times (5th 4 times and 4th twice). With Scotland now on a high even the annual wooden spoon game between the two nations is becoming a moot point.
Whether Georgia would do any better than Italy is up for debate however if relegation was in play at least there is something to play for at the bottom of the table and if the last place finisher has to play off against the winner of the Europe Rugby Championship to decide who takes spot 6 for the following year this will actually be an exciting and enthralling battle. I certainly would be keen to watch that as opposed to the usual debate I have when Italy are playing – is there any point in watching their match. What reinforces this is the fact that I have written this article before the England match starts in a few hours just waiting to slot the score in when it’s over as the result is simply inevitable.
The Rugby World Cup is all about spreading the rugby message to new countries around the globe, last years tournament in Japan was a massive success and rugby has exploded there. When the owner of Zerofit last visited us from Osaka I asked him what his favourite sport to watch was – the answer was rugby as the nation was captivated by the tournament. If the lesser countries that play in the European Rugby Championship have the chance to compete against at the highest level surely this has got to filter down to grass roots and grow the game across Europe in the same way as its happening in Japan.
Of course the other option is to actually invite Japan to join if we want to completely remove ‘cannon fodder’ from the equation. I always felt we missed a step when Argentina joined the Tri-nations, there was even chat after the last RWC that Japan might add to what is now the Rugby Championship. They don’t see distance as an issue so why should we?
So my plead to the rugby authorities is please do something now, a European option would probably be the most ‘ethical’ choice but having visited Japan many times and falling in love with the culture what an away venue this would be for all! More importantly it would improve the competition beyond believe as there are 6 teams that can properly compete!