13th January 2020

#Sports

Guinness Six Nations Championship explained in interview with James Harrington

13th January 2020

#Sports

With the excitement of the Guinness Six Nations Championship looming next month, we grabbed 10 minutes with freelance sports journalist James Harrington.  James is a father of three and husband of one, he writes – mostly about rugby – for ESPN, The Rugby Paper, Irish Examiner, Rugby Pass, and the Press Association, and appears quite tall, until you get up close.

 

We asked, where will you watch the 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship?

After actually being at the Principality Stadium or the Aviva, Stade de France, Twickenham, Murrayfield, or Stadio Olimpico on matchday, there’s no better place to see every Six Nations matches than a Young’s Pub.

From the Alma in Wandsworth, the chain’s flagship rugby pub, where you can order the chef’s famous, delicious butcher’s block before settling down to watch the big match, to the Alexander Pope, which is within walking distance of England rugby’s headquarters – every  Young’s pub prides itself on being a spiritual home of the game.

Everyone is welcome, from the most dedicated rugby nut, who pores over games and stats, and knows every 10 to play for Wales since Barry John, who they made their debut against, how many games they played and how many points they scored – to the more casual fan who enjoys seeing a few games, but doesn’t really worry about the good, the bad and the ugly of it.

And if you’re new to the game, don’t worry. You’ll find the atmosphere in a Young’s pub on a Six Nations match day passionate, friendly and welcoming. You’ll be hooked quicker than you can establish your rugby bluffer’s credentials by saying, “Danny Cipriani would be my choice at 10 for England, but Eddie Jones clearly doesn’t want a maverick playmaker.”

The Six Nations matchday atmosphere at all Young’s Pubs is second only to being at the grounds themselves. So, come along, order a drink or maybe treat yourselves to a tasty meal and settle down in front of the big screen with fellow rugby fans – young, old and new – and enjoy.

It promises to be the most intriguing, engaging tournament for years.

The 2020 Six Nations kicks off on Saturday, February 1, in Cardiff, where Wales, under new coach Wayne Pivac, welcome a post-Conor O’Shea Italy – who are unlikely to be pushovers thanks to their stiffened Benetton-based spine.

Rugby bluffers: Perhaps kick off the pre-match debate by asking if Pivac’s first selection has solved the problem of Wales’s injury ravaged midfield, and whether Gloucester’s teenage sensation Louis Rees-Zammit should be included or if it is too early to risk him in the pressure cooker atmosphere of international rugby?

Move on to discuss interim Italy coach Franco Smith and what he can do with Conor O’Shea’s Italian legacy – don’t forget to say results may not have happened on the pitch in the O’Shea years, but look at those massive improvements at Benetton, for example.

Then, as Ireland begin the Andy Farrell years at what’s sure to be a raucous Aviva against World Cup rivals Scotland, ask whether Johnny Sexton should really start for Ireland in new head coach Andy Farrell’s first Six Nations squad, or if it is time to blood a younger model at 10 – before moving on to chew over Scotland’s options at nine following Greig Laidlaw’s international retirement.

The opening weekend ends on Sunday February 2 with “Le Crunch”, as World Cup finalists England kick off their 2020 campaign in Paris against what looks set to be a young and hopefully rejuvenated France, now coached by Fabien Galthie.

For this final game of the first weekend, open discussions over a round of pre-match drinks by asking for predictions on the 2020 landscape for losing World Cup finalists England under Jones; or if France coach Fabien Galthie can rediscover that fabled ‘French flair’.

Everyone around the table could also debate the prospect of Les Bleus’ youthful talent and if former Wales coach Shaun Edwards can add some much-needed steel to a shaky French defence.

We won’t try to second-guess what you’ll end up talking about at half time or at the end of each game – what happens on the pitch will decide that. But, at a Young’s pub, we guarantee that we’ll be there to congratulate you on a great win, or commiserate with you on a cruel defeat.

And you can be certain that we’ll be more than delighted to welcome you back for the second weekend of the tournament – and every one after that.

Are you ready for the mighty Guinness Six Nations 2020?  Explore below the pubs we recommend to watch every match from, with unbeatable atmosphere, fantastic food and the very best drink on tap.

Exciting!

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