Rugby tournament involving six European nations, these being:
Italy joined in 2000, before which the competition was known as the Five Nations. The major annual rugby event in the Northern Hemisphere, it is held in early spring and each team plays each other once. Home and Away fixtures are held in alternate years, so that if Ireland play England in Lansdowne Road, Dublin in 2001, they will play them in Twickenham, London in 2002.
The Championship is won by the team who top the league table after all the matches have been played, but several additional prizes are on offer: if a team defeats all opponents, it wins the Grand Slam, and certain teams can compete in sub-challenges including the Triple Crown and the Calcutta Cup.