IRELAND have won the Six Nations Triple Crown two years in a row.
With the Irish favourites for the Six Nations again in 2024, they are bidding to make it three in a row for the first time since England in the mid-90s – but what is the Triple Crown.
What is a Triple Crown?
The Triple Crown is contested amongst the home nations, where if England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland are successful in all three games they are then crowned winners of the ‘Triple Crown.’
It is uncertain where the name surfaced but it is believed that it’s origins date back to the Home Nations Championship – the predecessor to the Six Nations, which saw only the home nations involved.
Prior to 2006 there was no trophy awarded for anyone who had achieved the Triple Crown and it was in turn called the ‘invisible trophy.’
However Barry Hooper, Head of External Communications at the Royal Bank of Scotland, commissioned a trophy to be awarded to any home nation who won the trophy.
Who has won the most?
England have won the accolade the most times, having secured 26 Triple Crowns, with their most recent coming in 2020.
Behind them comes Wales with 22 while Ireland have 13 and Scotland have ten.
However since the formation of the trophy in 2006, Ireland have won the most Triple Crowns, with five wins compared to three for England
In contrast, to the Grand Slam – which Ireland also won in 2023 – the winner of the Triple Crown does not necessarily win the Six Nations, due to the inclusion of France and Italy.
And on numerous occasions the Triple Crown winner has not gone on to win the overall title, with Stuart Lancaster’s England most recently failing to do so in 2014.
On all of these occasions bar one, France have been named victors, with the only exception happening most recently with Ireland being crowned 2014 champions.