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Six Reasons Why February Is The Best Month For Rugby

Six Reasons Why February Is The Best Month For Rugby
By Conor O'Leary Updated
The Best Month For Rugby

February is one of the best months of the year. The January gloom is over, days start to get brighter, and more importantly rugby is everywhere.

The World Cup and subsequent Champions Cup disasters mean that Ireland go into this Six Nations campaign with less optimism that normal. But the men's Six Nations aren't the only reason why you should be excited for rugby this month.

Here are six reasons why February is the best month for rugby.

Six Nations

The Six Nations is oldest rugby tournament in the world. It's the tournament that captures the imagination of most of those even vaguely interested in the sport.

Sporting tournaments that have traditions are easy to get excited about, and with anyone of three-five teams in with a realistic shot of winning the whole competition, 2016's edition should prove to be memorable.

Ireland have been given a tough draw, with arguably three of the toughest games, with a tough six day turnaround straight away - but history shows that playing Scotland and Italy last helps with points difference.

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The competition starts with a nice day on Saturday, before the big game of the weekend between Ireland and Wales. A win there and it should set the tone for the next seven weeks.

Super Rugby

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t8IRAEPlQU

Super Rugby is the most exciting rugby tournament in the world. There I said it. As a neutral, watching the skills on display is nothing short of jaw-dropping. There's a reason why the Southern Hemisphere teams dominate the global standings.

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Super Rugby is the reason why getting up early makes sense. Five hours of Super Rugby on a Saturday morning is the perfect pre-cursor to an afternoon of Six Nations action filling your day with hours of the best rugby this planet has to offer.

That Super Rugby is covered by the lads in Rugby HQ that allow Seanny Maloney to produce wonderful segments like the Top 5 or the plays of the week just makes it that much better.

For those who are interested, Super Rugby is a great way to learn about some of the stars of the World Cup, and foxsports in Australia provide the most comprehensive fantasy rugby game in the world.

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U20 Six Nations

It's rare enough that fans get to see the next generation of talented players, but February sees the U20 Six Nations shown live on RTE. It'll be the first sighting of this year's group, and they have plenty to live up to after last year's class have already filtered through and made an impact on the provinces.

There is a lot of talent in this year's crop; and Nigel Carolan is the right coach to make sure they become future internationals. Read more about them here.

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Womens Six Nations

Much like the U20's, the last time we've seen the Irish women do us proud was in the World Cup where they beat New Zealand to reach the semi finals.

Despite their success, which includes a grand slam in 2013, the Irish women's team still doesn't get as much coverage as they should.

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You should be able to follow the games with the RTE players, or follow commentary on Game On.

Key Pro 12 Games

Just because the internationals are in full swing doesn't mean the hurly-burly of the Pro 12 stops. After a two week break, the provinces will be back in action in their day jobs with some key matches about to be played.

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With the top six teams set to qualify for the Champions Cup, the narrow top heavy table where the top six are separated by just four points - any team that can go on a run without the internationals is well placed for a Champions Cup spot.

Schools Cup

Schools rugby is one of the biggest breeding grounds for talent from any sport. Nearly all of the team that Joe Schmidt will pick to play Italy this weekend will have learned their trade in schools rugby whether it's Jack McGrath from St. Mary's, Jamie Heaslip from Newbridge, Robbie Henshaw from Marist Athlone or Peter O'Mahony from Pres Cork.

The competition each year is fierce and can produce some outstanding games for the neutrals.

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