The Six Nations regularly produces thrilling contests between rugby union’s European rivals and there have been plenty of big scores racked up by countries down the years in the eagerly-anticipated annual competition.
Prior to it becoming a six-team affair in 2000, there were several high-scoring games in the Five Nations, most notably in 1998 when England hammered Wales 60-26. In the earlier years of the Five Nations – and the Home Nations tournament that preceded it – big scores were extremely rare, however, with Wales’ 49-14 victory over France in 1910 one such exception.
Here we count down the top 5 highest scoring Six Nations games of all time, with England featuring in three of them.
5. Wales 67-14 Italy (81 points) – 2016
This isn’t the only time Italy feature on this list on the receiving end of a thrashing. Cardiff was the setting in 2016 for this dominant display from Wales when they recorded nine tries to Italy’s two. Ross Moriarty picked up a brace and Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Jamie Roberts, George North and Gareth Davies were among the other scorers at the Principality Stadium.
4. Italy 20-61 Wales (81 points) – 2015
While Italy continue to try to improve and become more competitive, they remain by far the weakest country in the Six Nations and have only won 12 of their 110 games in the tournament since joining in 2000.
One of their heaviest defeats came against Warren Gatland’s Wales in Rome in 2015 when the visitors outscored the Azzurri by eight tries to two. George North scored a hat-trick, Dan Biggar kicked one penalty and six conversions, while there was at least some consolation for Italy in the shape of tries from Giovanbattista Venditti and Leonardo Sarto.
3. England 61-21 Scotland (82 points) – 2017
England are next on the list with a very similar huge victory when they put the Scots to the sword at Twickenham in 2017. Jonathan Joseph ran in a hat-trick of tries and replacement Danny Care crossed for two while Owen Farrell racked up a personal tally of 26 points from seven conversions and four penalties. Scotland managed tries from Huw Jones and Gordon Reid on the day but this was another one-sided affair.
2. England 55-35 France (90 points) – 2015
It’s the second of three massive Twickenham victories for England in this rundown and this time it was a wonderfully entertaining 90-point contest against France.
George Ford was the home side’s inspiration with 25 points thanks to a try, seven conversions and two penalties while Ben Youngs and Jack Nowell both grabbed two tries apiece. It wasn’t all one-way traffic, though, and Le Bleus played their part with Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Noa Nakaitaci and Vincent Debaty amongst their tryscorers.
1. England 80-23 Italy (103 points) – 2001
This is England’s biggest-ever Six Nations victory in terms of winning margin when they outclassed the Azzurri at home in 2001. This was the era of Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and co and several of the players involved on the day would go on to win the World Cup two years later. Wilkinson was nearing his peak and kicked nine conversions and four penalties in a typically assured display.
The home crowd celebrated 10 tries from the Red Rose in total, with Iain Balshaw and Austin Healey both scoring twice, while Dallaglio, Ben Cohen, Will Greenwood and Mark Regan also crossed. Italy got on the scoreboard thanks to tries from Carlo Checchinato and Dennis Delan.