Rugby on the Internet

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The Independent Online

This weekend sees the finale of the Six Nations' Championship as England meet Scotland at Murrayfield to try to secure a Grand Slam.

This weekend sees the finale of the Six Nations' Championship as England meet Scotland at Murrayfield to try to secure a Grand Slam.

Getting at the facts and figures for previous fixtures, and looking ahead to the final matches, is made very easy at the Official Six Nations' Championship Web site. A simple frames-based navigation system that is logically constructed works with no fuss, surprises or glitches.

The points and fixtures table under the tournament link is a good starting place with statistics at a glance, links to details about the venues and links to live reports on games in progress. This page also gives access to stats on this year's leading scorers and all-time Championship scorers. The history of the Four, Five and latterly Six Nations' competitions going back to 1882, when England beat Wales, is outlined, complete with stats about Championships won and Grand Slam winners.

Archived photographs from Allsport are collected in the Media Centre. News reports and stories, some with Allsport illustrations, are carried, as are squad listings and details. The online kicking game is as addictive as it was at the start of the Championship.

RugbyRugby.com is a "gateway to the world of rugby online". It's a useful site for the North American scene as well as European Cup, Super 12, Tri-Nations and Sevens.

For the Six Nations it has carried live audio match commentary on selected fixtures. It could be worth checking closer to the weekend to see if it is covering the final matches. Its strength is a simple pull-down menu system giving quick access to information about the venues, the cities, fixtures, results, national songs and teams. Confusingly, for news about the competition, you have to ignore the Six Nations page and head for News Links to find a pull-down menu that is set up to take a feed off sportinglife.com.

Rugby World On The Net is the online presence of the print magazine. It operates in the same sort of area as the main portals such as Rugby 365.com, Scrum.com, Sports.com Rugby, and Planet Rugby - indeed, it makes use of Planet Rugby's resources in its fixtures and results sections and for its Six Nations coverage. It also picks up interesting audio news reports from sportonair.com. To get hold of the opinion pieces and features, however, you need to subscribe to the print magazine - online subs are catered for.

Opinion is freely available at The Rugby Reader's Review, a site dedicated to rugby literature - literature in the widest sense of the word from Reuters news reports to reprints of magazine pieces, ranging from Idiot's Guides, underwater rugby, and round-ups of famous names who have played the oval ball game - from Che Guevara via Boris Karloff to Jacques Chirac. Even those with only a passing interest in rugby are likely to find something of interest while browsing at this site.

andy.oldfield@virgin.net

Site Addresses

Official Six Nations' Championship Site www.officialeuropeanrugby.com/SixNations/

RugbyRugby.com www.rugbyrugby.com/

Rugby World On The Net www.rugbyworld.com/

The Rugby Reader's Review www.geocities.com/Pipeline/Curb/2471/

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