Wales supporters are named the most passionate fans in the Six Nations
It hasn’t been the greatest start to the Six Nations for Wales.
Beaten at home to Ireland and away to Scotland, it is not exactly the sort of opening to the campaign that a returning Warren Gatland would have hoped for.
Having led Wales to four Six Nations titles in his previous tenure as head coach, Gatland has seen his charges flounder badly in what looks set to be a long term rebuilding process.
The Six Nations results aligned with the ongoing turmoil at the Welsh Rugby union mean it’s not the best time to be a Welsh rugby fan.
However, let us bring you little shard of light to illuminate the gloom with the news that according to a new poll, Wales fans have been named the best in the Six Nations.
Rugby’s answer to AirBnB – Host A Fan – took it upon themselves to rank the Six Nations fan bases according to responses gathered online from rugby fans.
They based their ranking, from most important to least, using six different categories:
– Home Stadium Atmosphere
– Away Support
– Online Public Vote
– Anthem & Other Songs
These then are the results from the Host A Fan’s community of fans from across Europe and their lighthearted take on the results…
6. France – Score: 4.3
Oh non, non, non! C’est un fixe! Zose bastards voted for Brexit anyway!
Romance, liberty, enlightenment. Let’s face it, there are lots of things we associate with our continental neighbours, France, but rugby just isn’t one of them.
Les Francais score highly for their patriotic and stirring anthem, La Marseillaise, which can awaken even the dullest of matches the way Brigette Macron lights a dull classroom.
Letting the French down is a low score on the public vote (although we must admit it was a very Anglo-centric audience) and we wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘Who on earth voted for France? followed by a laughing emoji as one of our Facebook punters did. The French also score below-average rating for both Away Support and Home Stadium Atmosphere, the latter not helped by the fact you need a telescope (never mind a pair of binoculars) to see the pitch (never mind the action) from some of the seats at the Stade de France.
5. Italy – Score: 4.4
We can see the hand-waving mamma mia, the margherita pizza throwing and the endless Italian rant now but come on, it’s not that you’re not passionate, patriotic and dedicated, it’s just that maybe not quite as much as the other patrons here. Oh and come on, rugby is nowhere near your main sport – you’re much better at football!
Our Italian friends score well for passion and did surprisingly well in the public vote with almost 40 likes (at last count) for this sympathetic and admirable comment praising the Italians.
“It has to be Italy. They turn up every year, knowing what is likely to happen, and still support without making a fuss and enjoy the experience. Admirable.”
Like the French, they are let down by Away Support and, most impactfully, Home Stadium Atmosphere, which can often suffer from one-sided, processional performances on the pitch, although thankfully, these are becoming rarer occasions.
4. England – Score: 6.15
They may have created the game, be the only side on the list to have won the World Cup and boast the largest stadium on the list but England’s fans can only scrape a fourth place in our list.
They do, however, score well for Away Support and of course, the public vote but are held back by a relatively dour anthem (it’s just not a patch on some of the others on this list). A repeated jibe amongst supporters is the accusation of Twickenham being a corporate magnet that lacks the raw emotion and passion of the national stadiums that feature in the top 3.
In the eloquent words of Nigel Slater (no, not that one) from Facebook:
“Twickenham is a ‘place of corporate knobs in chinos, blue shirt and tweed”
And another England fan on Facebook who commented:
“Too many prawn sandwich type snobs at Twickenham”
3. Scotland – Score: 7
Quite simply, no one matches the Celts for rugby and kicking off our top 3 are England’s oldest enemies, the Scots. A spring visit up to the beautifully exquisite Edinburgh is always worth the trip, especially if there just magically happens to be a game of rugby going on at Murrayfield on the same weekend.
In years gone by, the enthusiasm and passion in the stands wasn’t always matched on the pitch but that has changed in recent years with improved performances resulting in an even more magical Murrayfield atmosphere and stronger away support.
Quite simply, there are few better Six Nations sounds than that moment when the blistering bagpipes stop and the crowd are left to sing the hearty Flower of Scotland to themselves.
2. Ireland – 7.15
Guinnesses on tap at the home of the black stuff, the hum of Irish music whistling into the spring air from almost every pub and the world famous friendliness of the locals. There’s nothing quite like a ‘cultural’ trip to Dublin on a Six Nations weekend. Nothing quite like it on the wallet either. Well, apart from a wedding, a mortgage or a new car. Anyway, at least now you can save on the extortionate accommodation prices by staying with a friendly fan instead.
The Irish do travel in numbers and also score highly for both passion their hymn book of songs. Unsurprisingly, given that nearly every other supporter has some distant bloodline link to the Emerald Isle, albeit sometimes via a neighbour’s cat or two, they also scored highly in the public vote including from neutrals such as Pieter Mynhardt who pinned his colours to this particular tricolour mast:
“I love the 6 nations and prefer it over our local SA rugby. Ireland in my opinion”.
There’s even support from closer to home where one fan declares ‘As an Englishman, I would say the Irish’.
1. Wales – 9.05
Topping our list of the best supporters with a mightily impressive score of over 9, are the Welsh. Quite simply, no one does it better. On a Six Nations matchday, eyes up and down the country from rural farmyard to remote rural pubs are fixed on the green, green grass of the national stadiums and the XV men wearing their country’s red with pride.
Paul Harrison, a seasoned rugby supporter, summarised as well as we could, ‘As an All Black supporter it has to be the Welsh. I’ve watched games of rugby with many different nationalities and the passion of the Welsh supporters is unrivalled’.
When this unrivalled passion is bottled into a full 80,000 seater stadium – especially with its roof closed – the noise can quite literally be deafening. The Welsh national anthem at the Principality is a sight to behold for any true rugby fan the world over. If you haven’t seen it before, add it to the bucket list and thank us later. In the words of one of the country’s favourite sons, It’s Not Unusual to see a teary eye or two.
You can save on accommodation costs and have a truly local experience by joining Host A Fan’s community of supporters. Find out more HERE
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