Six Nations considering bonus points
January 6, 2013
France and Ireland would still have been level in 2012 even with a bonus point system © Getty Images
The Six Nations committee are reportedly ready to fall into line with other major international tournaments by introducing a bonus point system.
Both the Rugby World Cup and the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship give bonus points for scoring four tries or by losing by less than seven points, as do the Aviva Premiership, RaboDirect PRO12 and Super Rugby. Currently winning teams in the Six Nations receive two points for a win and one for a draw, while teams level on points are separated by points difference.
The tournament has consistently refused the idea of introducing bonus points citing history and the fact that it would make it mathematically possible for a team that won the grand slam to finish second in the table if they did not secure any bonus points and their main rival had a full house. Furthermore a side that was whitewashed would not finish bottom if it picked up five losing bonus points and the team above them only had one victory and no bonus points.
Now though the Rugby Football Union has led the push to open up the debate about a system that would have meant Ireland and France still finished level last year, but meant Italy would have been bottom in 2011 on 'points obtained' rather than points difference.
"We have resisted the change for the past 10 years, but there is pressure to join the mainstream, not least from commercial partners, because it would potentially increase permutations in the table at the end of the season," an RFU member told The Guardian, "but the bottom line is that it is the system that people have become used to."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson