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2015 RBS 6 Nations Is Launched In London

2015 RBS 6 Nations Is Launched In London

The 2015 RBS 6 Nations launched in style at the Hurlingham Club this morning, with the unveiling of a brand new trophy. Joe Schmidt and Paul O’Connell represented defending champion Ireland, with new Irish Women’s head coach Tom Tierney and captain Niamh Briggs also present.

The six men’s captains, whose sides will chase after it over the course of the next two months, were in attendance to offer their thoughts on the upcoming drama of the Championship.

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Chris Robshaw, Sam Warburton, Greig Laidlaw, Sergio Parisse, Thierry Dusautoir and Paul O’Connell, whose Ireland team are the reigning champions, each got their first look at the new prize.

And Warburton, who will lead Wales into the Championship curtain-raiser against an injury-struck England in Cardiff on Friday week (February 6), cannot wait to get started.

“We didn’t talk about it ourselves after the autumn because two months is a long time, but it’s been building in Wales since then,” he said.

“At home it’s great for Welsh supporters. It’s always a special moment to play at home, and I’m sure on Friday night the whole of Cardiff will be bouncing.”

England skipper Robshaw added: “Going to Cardiff is, of course, huge for England. We all go through stages where we have injuries – whether we do or not, we are confident in our squad. Guys are going to step in, waiting for those opportunities and grab them with both hands.”

Italy host the 2014 champions Ireland, who beat both South Africa and Australia in November, and skipper Parisse, whose side also made great strides in the autumn, is not daunted by the task.

He said: “It’s a big chance for us to test ourselves, playing the best team at the moment. We’ll be able to understand where we are. We’re playing them in the World Cup as well, but for us we need to start playing well in the RBS 6 Nations.”

O’Connell said: “November was great for us. Anytime you can take those two big scalps of South Africa and Australia, it’s always a great autumn.”

Dusautoir, who leads les Bleus into their opening clash with Scotland, said: “We haven’t won the Six Nations since 2010, and the last few years it has been quite difficult for us.

“We have new players now, a new generation, and as we have three games away there’s not too much pressure on us.”

Meanwhile, scrum half Laidlaw – his adversary on the opening weekend – is hoping to see Scotland turn a few heads this year.

“The autumn internationals were great fun to play in, but those are gone now and we have to keep on building in the Six Nations,” he said.