The 2015 RBS 6 Nations begins on Friday 6th February, with the participating teams looking to make their mark in Rugby World Cup year.
The 2015 edition is the very first time that a Gilbert rugby ball will be used in every single RBS 6 Nations match. This comes after Italy signed up with Gilbert to become their official ball supplier. The Match-XV is the same ball that will be used in Rugby World Cup 2015, and this will be the first time the ball has been used in an International tournament.
The Match-XV match ball has had a successful introduction to professional rugby, being used throughout the Autumn Internationals, European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, Aviva Premiership Rugby and the Top 14. Southern hemisphere rugby will get its first taste of the ball later this month when Super Rugby 2015 kicks off.
Ireland claimed the trophy last year with four victories – the same record as England – but secured victory on points difference after a final day win on triumph. That capped a glorious farewell for Brian O’Driscoll, who retired at the end of the championships. Will Ireland be able to repeat the trick without their talisman?
Wales had won the championship the previous two years, including the Grand Slam in 2012. France’s last triumph came in 2010 when they also won the Grand Slam, with England’s most recent success being in 2011.
Scotland have never won the RBS 6 Nations, but were the last nation to win the 5 Nations before it grew to include Italy. The Italian’s have a best finish of 4th in the tournament so will be looking to at least match that this year.
There are plenty of #TeamGilbert
members looking to make a mark in the next two months. England hooker Dylan Hartley will do battle with Welsh pair Richard Hibbard and Jake Ball in the opening contest. Thierry Dusautoir will be looking to lead France back to glory, while Sean Cronin will be hoping Ireland can retain the trophy they won so dramatically last year.
Richard Hibbard and Dylan Hartley will face off against each other in the Chieftain V2 shoulder pads, whilst Jake Ball will be running out in the Pro Fly boots, Xact Headguard and Chieftain V2 pads. Ireland hooker, Sean Cronin, will take to the field in the Jink VX1 boots and Chieftain V2 shoulder pads and Thierry Dusautoir will lead the French out in the Virtuo Headguard.
Keep up to date with all RBS 6 Nations news and get the products the players wear. Follow @GILBERT_RUGBY
on Twitter and head to gilbertrugby.com