Six Nations to introduce bonus points for 2017 with extra points for Grand Slam winners to avoid runner-up controversy

Six Nations introduce a new points-scoring system and avoid scenario where Grand Slam champions would finish second

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A bonus points system will be used in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.

The Six Nations Council announced bonus points will be trialled in the Six Nations, women's Six Nations and Under-20 Six Nations tournaments, and then reviewed.

The Council said it had taken the decision "to encourage and reward try-scoring and attacking play."

The first game of this season's Six Nations is Scotland against Ireland on February 4.

The system will use a tried and tested formula in other major rugby union events like the World Cup, Rugby Championship, Aviva Premiership and Guinness PRO12.

Four match points will be awarded to a winning team, with an extra point if they score four tries or more, while losing teams will be awarded no points but can collect a bonus point for scoring four tries or more or lose by a margin of seven points or less.

A drawn game will see countries awarded two points each, with an additional point for scoring four tries or more.

Additionally, a country than wins all five matches and achieves a Six Nations Grand Slam, will be awarded a further three match points.

Six Nations chairman Pat Whelan said: "We have been looking at the feasibility of a bonus point system for a while and examining what kind of bonus point system would work best, given the unique properties and format of our Championships.

"We needed to ensure that whatever bonus point system we selected would work with the already proven structure of the Championships, and would serve to materially improve what is already there.

"We are happy that the system that we have decided to trial is the one best-suited to our Championships, and we are delighted to be going ahead with this new development.

"We believe that the initiative will enhance our competitions for fans, teams, broadcasters and all of those for whom the Championship means so much."

Six-Nations.jpg

England will defend their trophy in February 2017 (Getty)

And Six Nations chief executive John Feehan added: "The drama and excitement of the last weekend of the RBS 6 Nations Championship is unique, and is, more often than not, driven by a number of teams on equal Championship points all competing for first place on the table.

"It is important for us to ensure that any bonus point system which is implemented would not, in any way, take away from this unique dynamic.

"At the same time, we are also conscious that we must reward try-scoring and an attacking style of play that will deliver more tries and greater rewards for fans and players alike.

"We are very excited about the potential that this new development will bring to the Championships, and we look forward to trialling it next February and March."

The Six Nations began in 2000 when Italy joined the established countries of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France.

England and France have each won the title five times, with Wales claiming four title and Ireland three.

PA

Comments