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Idiots’ guide to the Six Nations in Wales

Five things travelers and people new to Wales should know about the Six Nations.

Young boy supporting Wales at the 2011 Six Nations. Wales vs France. Copyright 2.0 (Jean Francois Fournier)

Wales takes great pride in its rugby ability and heritage most Welsh men and increasingly woman have participated in the sport at one point in their lives.

This results in an outpouring of support for our rugby teams and especially our international squad. We take this seriously and as many of our readers are internationals working or studying in Wales, we have decided to make a list of things to keep in mind this Six Nation season.  

1. The golden rule.

“As long as we beat the English” is a phrase that you will hear shouted with increasing fervour if Wales don’t perform well this Six Nations. Wales as a country puts beating England higher than actually winning the tournament. Even to the point where we will happily support other nations who aren’t apart of the United Kingdom if they are playing England. Important note though, this is a friendly rivalry, win or lose we are rugby fans not football hooligans don’t take it too far, it’s called the gentleman’s sport for a reason.  

2. The roles of rugby.

This infographic will tell you all you need to know about the roles in a rugby team. 

Infographic on the roles of the a rugby team.

3. Dress code.

Welsh meme mocking how welsh men break these shoes out of their wardrobes during the Six Nations

You’ll notice an increase in the number of men, both young and old wearing light brown leather shoes with jeans and a rugby jersey. This is the unofficial uniform for male Six Nation supporters. For women, there is no real guide for what to wear but if you can find a daffodil, leak, or dragon headpiece you get patriotism points. While none of these things are necessary for having a good time and no one will comment on your clothing why not show some Welsh pride and get a Welsh jersey? 

4. Drinking culture.

Pints on a bar, drinking is a huge part of the Six Nations experience. copyright 2.0 (Racquel Heron)

If you did dry January, it is finally over. Celebrate your achievement by going to a pub and getting a pint. If you didn’t do dry January, celebrate your achievement of not succumbing to peer pressure by getting a pint. If you don’t drink alcohol, celebrate your achievement of being an all-around better human being than the rest of us by getting a pint of Pepsi. Just get a pint. You can find the best pubs to watch the games in this handy article here 

5. Important Players.

Alun Wyn Jones watching a try in the 2011 Six Nations. Copyright 2.0 (Jean Francois)

Now no-one is expecting you to remember everyone on the teams’ name but here a few names that will be brought up during the game. Alun Wyn Jones, sometimes captain of the squad, widely believed to have been playing for the team for the last hundred years. George North, Winger, is beloved in Wales if they win, if not it was his fault. Leigh Halfpenny, Fullback (he kicks the ball), Looks too small to be playing rugby if he’s not on the field Welsh fans will spend the entire game shouting that he should be. Shane Williams, retired, one of the best Welsh players of all time, everyone wishes he was still playing.