Six Nations bonus points: Would Ireland, Wales and France still win?

The Six Nations Council's decision to trial bonus points in 2017 has met with a positive response.

Seventy percent of readers who responded to our poll said that they were in favour of the move, but how would the new system have affected previous championships?

ESPN has looked at four recent tournaments that ended with a tie for top spot, to see if the winners would have been different had bonus points been used.


Three teams -- England, Ireland and Wales -- went into Super Saturday last year with a chance of winning the Six Nations.

Wales kicked things off with a thumping win over Italy that briefly put them in the driving seat. Ireland followed suit against Scotland in Edinburgh, though, to take control and not even a seven-try win for England against France at Twickenham could knock them off top spot.

At that time it was only points difference that separated the three sides, and that would be the same outcome had bonus points been applied. Each team would have ended with two from their five games.


Another tournament in which three teams entered the final round with a realistic chance of winning the championship.

England's lunchtime win over Italy gave them hope of finishing top of the pile, before the other two challengers -- France and Ireland -- went head to head in Paris.

In the end a 22-20 win for the Irish ensured they edged England on points difference. Unfortunately for the Red Rose, that would have been the way things panned out even with the use of bonus points.


One of Warren Gatland's finest matches as Wales coach, as a team featuring Justin Tipuric at openside flanker tore England apart to snatch the title.

Wales had begun the championship with a resounding defeat to Ireland but England had no answer amid a cauldron of noise in Cardiff.

However impressive the performance, though, it would not have been enough had bonus points been in use. England's four-try win over Scotland on the opening weekend would have been enough for Stuart Lancaster's men.


As in 2014 and 2015, three teams went into the final weekend nine years ago with a chance of winning the Six Nations.

France's 46-19 win over Scotland in Paris ensured they edged out Ireland -- 51-24 winners over Italy on the last day -- and England, who lost 27-18 in Wales.

But had bonus points been used, Les Bleus would not have been smiling. Indeed, their bonus-point win in Edinburgh would have been only the second extra point they picked up in the tournament.

With Ireland securing their third of the championship in Rome, it would have left the French second, as the Irish claimed the title by a point.