Unless something is done to bridge the gap between the northern and southern hemispheres, it will remain virtually one-way traffic.
Expert on The Roar
There are 101 countries playing international rugby of a sort, the IRB rankings pretty much tell the story.
The “haves” – the All Blacks ranked 1, Boks (2), and Wallabies (3),
The “have nots” – England (4), Wales (5), France (6), Ireland (7), Scotland (9), and Italy (13).
And the “never wills” – the other 92 countries, even though Samoa (8), Argentina (10), Fiji (11), and Tonga (12), are ranked in the world’s top 13.
The second criteria is the Rugby World Cup, where the All Blacks (1987 and 2011), Wallabies (1991 and 1999), and the Boks (1995 and 2007) have won six of the seven Cups, with England (2003), the only nation north of the equator to be successful.
The third criteria is a set of stats over the last six years, kicking off from June 2008 when most of the current stars were included.
During that period the Al Blacks have played the Six-Nation countries 36 times for 34 wins.
The two losses were against France 27-22 at Carisbrooke in June 2009 and England 38-21 at Twickenham in December of last year.
The Boks have been on duty 29 times for 26 wins.
The three losses were against France 20-13 at Stade Toulouse in November 2009, Ireland 15-10 at Croke Park in November 2009 and Scotland 21-17 at Murrayfield in November 2010.
The Wallabies have been the “weak link” of the Big Three, winning just 30 of their 38 games.
The eight losses:
Wales 21-18 at Millennium November 2008
Scotland 9-8 at Murrayfield November 2009
England 21-20 at Stadium Australia June 2010
England 35-18 at Twickenham November 2010
Ireland 15-6 at Eden Park September 2011
Scotland 9-6 at Newcastle June 2012
France 33-6 at Stade de France November 2012
And England 20-13 at Twickenham this month.
Total those three sections and the Big Three has played the Six-Nations 103 times for 90 wins.
Rugby is all about history and tradition, the code is rich in both. But the full story is just as bleak for the Six-Nations sides, they haven’t been able to cut the mustard on the world stage.
France is the best performed of the six.
They have beaten the All Blacks 12 times, the Boks 11, and the Wallabies 17.
That’s 40 wins from 155 internationals. Hardly riveting.
England’s next best having beaten the All Blacks seven tines, the Boks 12, and the Wallabies 17.
That’s 36 wins from 153 games. Likewise ordinary. But it gets worse.
Scotland has never ever beaten the All Blacks in history, but have had nine wins over the Wallabies, and five over the Boks.
All up, 14 wins from 95 internationals.
Scotland has never ever beaten the All Blacks in 29 starts, but have beaten the Wallabies nine times, and the Boks five.
All up 14 wins from 95.
Wales have beaten the All Blacks three times, the Boks once, and the Wallabies 10 times.
All up 14 from 107.
Ireland has also never ever beaten the All Backs in 27 starts, but have beaten the Wallabies nine ties, and the Boks four.
All up 13 from 92.
Then basket-case Italy. The Azzurri has played the Wallabies 16 times, the All Blacks 12, and the Boks 11.
That’s 39 internationals and the Italians have lost the lot.
Total up this criteria, and the Six-Nations have only won 117 of their 671 games against the Big Three.
And unless something is done to bridge the gap between the northern and southern hemispheres, it will remain virtually one-way traffic.
More Grand Slam tours will make a difference.
Since 1905 there have only been 28 Grand Slam tours, just nine converted.
The Boks (4) in 1912-13, 1931-32, 1951-52, and 1960-61.
The All Blacks (4) in 1978, 2005, 2008, and 2010.
And the Wallabies in 1984.
But only one in reverse, against the 1958 Wallabies, skippered by prop Bob Davidson from the Gordon club.
England won 9-6, Ireland 9-6, Scotland 12-8, and Wales 9-3.
That was no mean feat by the Home Unions, the Wallabies were a strong side with household names of the day like Terry Curley, Ken Donald, Rod Phelps, Jim Lenehan, Arthur Summons, Des Connor, Nick Shehadie, Tony Miller, John Thornett, and Jim Brown,
I envisage the All Blacks, Boks, and Wallabies schedule Slams in turn over three years with the Rugby World Cup in the fourth season.
That’s the only way the Six-Nations can gain the experience to bridge the enormous gap between the haves and the have nots.
Slams are a huge incentive for the Big Three, as they are for the Home Unions. Therefore, the suggestion is a win-win.