When we get to the end of the Six Nations, you can often hear people asking: What Is The Wooden Spoon? Here is everything you need to know
What Is The Wooden Spoon?
The Wooden Spoon is metaphorical prize for the team who finishes last in the Six Nations.
It is much like the fabled Lanterne Rouge in the Tour de France, where the rider who finishes last but still completes the tour is honoured. However, unlike the example from the world’s most famous cycling competition, there is no physical prize handed over to the dead-last side in the Six Nations.
As legend would have it, the original practice of handing out ‘Wooden Spoons’ comes from Cambridge University where they were awarded to the student with the lowest mark in the mathematics tripos, during the 19th century. According to the tales, the spoons would vary in size over time. It is uncertain how the tradition was adopted in rugby.
Since 2000, when Italy joined the tournament to up it from the Five Nations to Six, only England and Ireland have avoided last place. Italy have collected the most Wooden Spoons since 2000, with 14, and have been whitewashed eight times.
Because of this there have been questions around possibly introducing a promotion and relegation format to the tournament with teams like Georgia, Spain and Romania looking to move up.
Sir Clive Woodward waded into one of the…
Follow our Six Nations homepage which we update regularly with news and features.