2015 saw a thrilling final weekend to the RBS Six Nations, a try-filled Rugby World Cup, and an upset in the Rugby Championship where Australia emerged victorious. But what is to come in 2016?
Not seen in the Games since 1924, Sevens makes a much-awaited comeback to the world’s largest sporting event, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro this August. Sevens competitions for both men and women will be held at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange over two days, featuring 12 teams. Already qualified in the men’s tournament are Brazil, Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand
, Great Britain, Argentina, USA, France
, Japan, Australia and Kenya. In the women’s event, South Africa are replaced by Canada and Colombia.
The USA won that last tournament, and based on recent results in the World Sevens Series, they could feature in the mix this time around. However, the more established rugby nations have called up a number of 15’s stars, with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Quade Cooper, Bryan Habana and Danny Cipriani all in with a chance of appearing.
Great Britain’s side will be made up of players from England Scotland and Wales, while Northern Irish stars will feature for the Republic of Ireland.
RBS Six Nations 2016
Starting 4 weeks on Saturday, there is a lot at stake in this year’s edition of the annual Northern Hemisphere tournament. Scotland picked up the Wooden Spoon in 2015 and will be aiming to make up for the heartache of a last-minute Rugby World Cup exit after a campaign full of promise, whilst Eddie Jones starts his England career leading a side who were short of ideas at the tournament they hosted. Ireland are defending champions, but - along with France - exited RWC 2015 at the quarter finals stage in humiliating fashion, whilst Wales
were only 5 minutes from another semi-final and will fancy their chances in the 6 Nations. Italy failed to make it out of their pool in England
and it will be a tough ask to improve on their single victory from 2015.
After Glasgow’s victory in the tournament last season, it seems fitting that the final will be at the home of Scottish Rugby. As things stand, Edinburgh
are the leading Scottish side, but we are only halfway through the season so there is still a long way to go. Is it too much to wish for to have both Scottish sides in the final, and a third game at BT Murrayfield between the 2 this season!?
British & Irish Lions Tour
Ok, it’s not until the summer of 2017, but if previous tours are anything to go by, the jersey will be released in December which whets the appetite nicely! And players around the country will be doing their damnedest to stand out and make sure they are in with a shot of heading to New Zealand. The last time the Lions face the All Blakcs, they were whitewashed under the guidance of Clive Woodward, but won the most recent tour to Australia.
What are you looking forward to most this year? Is your club heading off on tour, or are you hoping to make it to a final? Or even just beat relegation!? Let us know in the comments below.
We have replica kit from all Six Nations
sides, so there's plenty of time to get the rugby shirt you need to support your team this spring!