‘I do think its feasible.’
Former Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan has argued that the Women’s Six Nations should return to its usual format in light of the 2021 Rugby World Cup being postponed.
While Coghlan likes how the championship has been pushed back to April so that it doesn’t compete with the men’s tournament, she told BBC Radio Ulster that she believes each team should play five matches.
The Women’s Six Nations will exist in a shortened format this year due to the ongoing pandemic, with each side due to play three matches, instead of the usual five.
A new time of year and a new Championship format… 👇
— Women’s Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) February 3, 2021
The six teams will be split into two pools of three, with each team playing the other two sides in their own pool, before facing the team ranked the same as them in the other pool in their final game (e.g. 1st vs 1st, 2nd vs 2nd, etc).
The shortened format was adopted so that there would be time to play the remaining Rugby World Cup qualifiers, but there is now more time to play those qualifiers as a result of the tournament being pushed back to next year.
Why the Women’s Six Nations should return to a normal format.
With coronavirus cases dropping throughout the UK and Ireland, Coghlan reckons there is a decent chance of a regular Six Nations taking place this year.
“I love the positioning of the Six Nations later in the calendar away from the men’s tournament where it has an opportunity to grow long-term but I would certainly love to go back to a full format now we’re not trying to fit in World Cup qualifiers,” Coghlan said.
“The weekends should be there. I do think it’s feasible if coronavirus numbers are continuing to drop and the vaccine programme is in place.
“The IRFU has been very good with their protocols around testing and the restrictions in camp,” continued Coghlan.
“You are always risking missing games but look at the men’s Six Nations and they missed a game [France v Scotland] because of coronavirus.”
The Women’s Six Nations is due to kick off on the 3rd of April when England play Scotland and France play Wales, while Ireland start their campaign against Wales the following week.