Six Nations introduces bonus points in 2017 competition to encourage attacking rugby

Joe Hall
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Dylan Hartley England Six Nations bonus point
England would have received 24 points this year under the new scoring system (Source: Getty)

Next year's Six Nations will feature a bonus point system the competition hopes will reward "try scoring and attacking play".

From 2017 onwards the competition will double the points awarded for a win from two to four and will reward a bonus point to any team that scores four or more tries, replicating a scoring system used in the Rugby World Cup pool stage and at the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship.

Losing teams will be able to pick up a bonus point for scoring four or more tries and another for losing by seven points or fewer, while a draw is worth two points.

If a team replicates England's achievement last year by winning the Grand Slam — all five games — they will be awarded three bonus points.

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This prevents the competition from being faced with a scenario where a team wins the Grand Slam but is beaten to the Six Nations title by a team winning four games with a bonus point and two bonus points from a loss in their final game.

"The initiative will enhance our competitions for fans, teams, broadcasters and all of those for whom the championship means so much," said Six Nations chairman Pat Whelan.

“We needed to ensure that whatever bonus point system we selected would work with the already proven structure of the championships and would serve to materially improve what is already there.

"We are happy that the system that we have decided to trial is the one best suited to our championships and we are delighted to be going ahead with this new development."

England's Six Nations defence starts with the visit of France to Twickenham on Saturday 4 February and concludes with a potential title-deciding showdown in Ireland on Saturday 18 March.

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