With less than 24 hours to go before kick off, now the preperations have been made, we could spend our time tweaking our Fantasy squad, we even considered, long and hard in fact, the idea of selecting the kind of match day 22 the other kind of fantasies are made of(hey, we are girls) but in the end, we decided against all of that, and decided instead to take a step back and look at why we’re so ruddy excited.
There’s many Rugby tournaments to get excited about, but to us at Manpilez, there’s nothing quite like the Six Nations to get the fire in our belly and a whole book full of songs in our hearts. The Tri nations seems to go on forever, the World Cup only comes around every 4 years and then timezones can mean missing the whole thing due to the need to sleep and the domestic tournaments are, well, domestic. But once a year, without fail, Six nations unite to… battle against each other for the kind of glory that’s hard won but oh, so satisfying.
There’s something so unique about the whole ethos of the competition, the camerarderie that is cultivated between Six countries, some seperated only by walls or rivers and others by half a continent, coming togther to celebrate something they’re good at. Old rivalries are channeled for just 80 minutes before being cast asunder (apart from light sniggering from England supporters when all the French fans have to go back to Central London via Waterloo – and claiming you’ve not done so means you’re a liar) for a commiseration or celebration pint.
Granted, this is far from alien for Rugby, part of why we’re here at all is that camerarderie and, dar I say it, the Banter. But think of this this way: when you’re supporting your local team there’s nothing quite like a derby day. The six nations is five derby days in 6 weeks, each more important than the last. Your country beats the All Blacks: Well done, all are pleased, but is it really as exciting as beating Them Next Door? This year the entire tournament kicks off in a showpiece Friday night game between what may be the two biggest rivals in all of Rugby and that’s ignighted the passions of people on both sides of the border to fever pitch more than anything we’ve seen in the last few years. Jono and Gats’s men have been out in force, making sly and not so sly swipes at various members of the opposition and making the rugby media feel like the storm before the hurricane. Isn’t it fab?!
There’s also, as occasional correspondent Rachel hinted on her twitter, a bit of a Christmas like quality to the Six Nations, it comes around every year at the same time, and you have a huge feast till everyone’s happy and full, then have a week of limbo before starting it all again. And if you followed all the refreshment suggestions we made you’ll be eating leftovers for weeks then find the remnants of the baileys down the back of the cupboard in June, curdled to buggery.
We’ll be back on Saturday with our version of what happened in Cardiff tonight and all the developments from Saturday’s games too. And before we get destracted by the ins and outs of the tournament, we want to thank you all for humouring our pre-six nations fever and helping us make this the biggest week of Manpilez since we started back in August, especially those of you who’ve helped spread the word.
Words by Lauren