Wales, who are ranked fifth in the world, will be looking to retain their Six Nations title after a great performance this year when the 2014 tournament comes around between Saturday 1st February and Saturday 14th March.
The Welsh National Union team are currently the holders of the Six Nations Championship trophy after topping the other five teams in this year’s tournament on point’s difference, achieved by beating England via a 27 point margin at the Millennium Stadium on the final day. Wales also won the 2012 tournament, along with the Grand Slam, and will be looking to make three out of three in 2014. Wales have a brilliant squad of players, many of whom had a fantastic 2013 Six Nations tournament. This is evident in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions selection as there are fifteen Welsh players included in the squad to tour Australia. Full-Back Leigh Halfpenny (highest scorer in this year’s tournament with 74 points), winger Alex Cuthbert (top try-scorer with 4 tries), centre Jamie Roberts, loosehead prop Gethin Jenkins and flanker Sam Warburton are some of Wales’ best players to name but a few. There is also youngsters such as winger George North and Toby Faletau who look like very promising players. Wales will more than likely be going into the tournament as favourites having won two tournaments in succession.
Wales vs Italy – 1st February 2014
Wales host Italy on Saturday 1st February in the opening game of the 2014 tournament. Italy are currently 12th in the world rankings. In the 2013 tournament, Wales defeated Italy 9-26 at the Stadio Olimpico. The Azzurri finished 4th in this year’s tournament. Italy have only beaten Wales twice in 20 meetings, with Wales winning 17 times and the remaining game resulting in a draw. Italy’s players to watch are prop Martin Castrogiovanni, fly-half Luciano Orquera and full-back Andrea Masi.
Ireland vs Wales – 8th February 2014
Wales travel to Ireland on Saturday 8th February in the second game of the 2014 Six Nations. Ireland are ranked 9th in the world at this moment in time. Wales were beaten 22-30 by Ireland in the opening game of the 2013 tournament. It is nearly always a tough and entertaining game between the two sides. Out of 119 games, Wales have won 65 times whilst Ireland have won 48 times. There have been 6 draws. The Irish Rugby Union finished second from bottom in the 2013 Six Nations. The players to watch for Ireland are legendary centre Brian O’Driscoll, fly-half Jonathan Sexton, full-back Rob Kearney and loosehead prop Cian Healy.
Wales vs France – 21st February 2014
On Friday 21st February, Wales host France, who are ranked 6th in the world, in the third game of the tournament. In 2013, Wales beat France 6-16 with a late show playing some great rugby. Surprisingly, France were given the wooden spoon in this year’s tournament, finishing bottom of the pack. The two sides are relatively matched with Wales winning 45 times against France, who have beat Wales 43 times. The players to watch for France are vice-captain and flanker Thierry Dusautoir, winger Wesley Fofana and fly-half Frederic Michalak.
England vs Wales – 9th March 2014
Wales face England at Twickenham on Sunday 9th March in the second to last game of the tournament. England, ranked 4th and one place above Wales, will certainly be hurting after missing out on the 2013 title by suffering a 30-3 defeat to Wales on the final day. This could potentially be Wales’ toughest game of the tournament. There is literally nothing separating the two sides, both having beaten each other 56 times along with playing out 12 draws. England, like Wales have a number of good players and the ones to watch are prop Dan Cole, fly-half Owen Farrell, winger Chris Ashton and centre Manu Tuilagi. Also ones to look out for are the Youngs brothers; hooker Tom and scrum-half Ben who are very talented.
Wales vs Scotland – 15th March 2014
Wales host Scotland, who finished 3rd in the 2013 Six Nations, on Saturday 15th March – the final day of the 2014 tournament. Wales defeated Scotland 18-28 at Murrayfield in 2013. Over 118 games, Wales have won 67 times whilst Scotland have won 48 times. There has been 3 draws. Scotland’s players to watch are full-back Stuart Hogg, wingers Sean Maitland and Tim Visser and towering lock Richie Gray.
RBS Six Nations – Wales Rugby Matches and Tickets 2014
|2014Mar09||England vs Wales||Twickenham Stadium, London||£ 219.32||http://www.giga-sport.co.uk/six-nations-tickets-wales-rugby-matches-fixtures/|
|2014Mar15||Wales vs Scotland||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff||£ 176.14||http://www.giga-sport.co.uk/six-nations-tickets-wales-rugby-matches-fixtures/|
Wales play their International Rugby matches at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. They ground share the stadium with the Welsh International Football Team. The capacity is 74,500 and was opened in 1999 to celebrate the turn of the Millennium. Wales also played at The National Stadium in Cardiff, which was built in 1970 however, the Millennium Stadium was built to replace The National Stadium.
Six Nations 2013
Wales won the 2012 Six Nations and is currently ranked 9th in the IRB World Rankings. They slipped to 9th after a disappointing Autumn Internationals in 2012 losing all three games against Argentina (12-26), Samoa (19-26) and Australia (12-14). However, Wales are certainly a force to be reckoned with at the 6 Nations 2013.
Wales won the Six Nations after a great performance in 2012. The young squad from last year is stronger and more mature. Their Head Coach is Warren Gatland who has transformed this team into a team who should be feared. Wales aren’t short of talent and can score tries with skilful play. Wales’s captain is Sam Warburton, a young talented flanker who leads from the front. Leigh Halfpenny will be the key to the success of Wales having come away from 2012 Six Nations as top try scorer and also Rhys Priestland is deadly with his boot at fly half. Wales have to be considered one of the favourites for another Grand Slam.
Wales main rivals is England. The rivalry exist since 1881 and both teams played each other in over 123 matches.
Wales vs Ireland Tickets– February 2nd, 2013
Wales will face Ireland on Saturday, 2nd February 2013 at 13:30 at the Millennium Stadium. Ireland is currently 6th in the IRB World Rankings and is probably among the toughest opponents Wales will face in the 6 Nations. Ireland played a great Autumn Internationals winning against Fiji with an unbelievable 53-0 and beating Argentina 46-24. However, Ireland also has its weaknesses. In 2012 they also lost to New Zealand on June 23rd with 60-0 and to South Africa at the Autumn Internationals with 12-16. In the past both teams faced each other 55 times in Wales with Wales winning 35 of those meeting. Wales clearly has the home advantage, but it will be a tough game.
Wales vs England Tickets– March 16th, 2013
Certainly one of the highlights of the 6 Nations, Wales will play rival England on Saturday, March 16th at 17:00 at the Millennium Stadium. England is 5th in the IRB World Rankings and enters the 6 Nations confident after beating the All Blacks with 38-21 at the Autumn Internationals. However, overall were the Internationals disappointing for England losing to South Africa with 15-16 and Australia with 14-20. However, both teams faced each other in a total of 123 games with Wales winning 55. So, the record is balanced. Rugby fans are certainly very excited about this match up.
The Welsh Rugby Union was formed in 1881 and in that same year Wales played their first ever International. Two years later, Wales revolutionised the sport by playing eight forwards and seven backs. With this formation, Wales became the Home Nations Champions in 1893 and in the process won the Triple Crown. Many teams soon adopted this formation. Between 1900 and 1911 many recognised this as a “Golden Age” as they won the championship five times with two triple crowns and were runners up three times. In 1910, they also won the first ever Five Nations Championship as France joined the Home Nations. In 1911, Wales won the first official Grand Slam title, they beat all four teams in the Five Nations. What they didn’t expect was that Wales wouldn’t win the Grand Slam again for nearly 40 years. After the war, Welsh rugby suffered a huge decline through lacklustre performances in the 1920’s. They recorded only 17 wins and 3 draws from 42 games, and between 1923 and 1928 they only won 7 internationals – five against France, however even France managed to record their first ever victory against Wales. The Economy hit Wales hard, and so many of the Union Rugby players moved to the League side of the game looking for more work and better opportunities.
Between the years 1969-1979, Wales opened up the “Second Golden Age” which arguably to date were the best ever International Rugby Union team. Between these years, they obtained the greatest record in Five Nations history, losing only 5 times in 10 years. In 1978 Wales won the Five Nations Triple Crown three years in a row. The following year they claimed the Triple Crown. In 1991 World Cup Wales failed to make it out of the group stage, and in 1992 and 1993 won only three games over the two championships. In 2005 Wales won their first Six Nations Grand Slam, and under Mike Ruddock looked to be reviving from their 90’s form. In 2007 Wales and Australia decided to celebrate 100 years of playing against each other by establishing the James Bevan Trophy. Warren Gatland took over, and in his first Six Nations led the team to first a Triple Crown and then a Grand Slam, there second in 4 years. In 2012, Wales walked away with their third Grand Slam Six Nations title, with victory over France seen as revenge for their narrow loss to them in the World Cup.