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Home Nations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of the Home Nations.

Home Nations (Welsh: Cenhedloedd Cartref) is a collective term in sport,[1] usually referring to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. When a sport is governed by a council representing the island of Ireland, such as the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the term can refer to the nations of the constituent countries on the island of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the island of Ireland as a whole.

The term was originally used when the whole island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. The synonymous "Home Countries" (not to be confused with the "home counties") is also sometimes used.

Association football[edit]

In association football, the Home Nations originally referred to the then four national teams of the United Kingdom: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.[2] Today, the term refers to the teams of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – the teams that contested the British Home Championship until 1984[3] – although references to the Home Nations sometimes erroneously include the Republic of Ireland team.[4]

Rugby union[edit]

Home Nations flags flying from a pub in Newcastle, Northern Ireland; Ireland is represented by the flag of the Irish Rugby Football Union

In 1883, the first Home Nations Championship was played between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. At this point in its history, the competition contained only teams from the UK. In 1910, France officially joined the competition and it was renamed the Five Nations Championship. Despite the partition of Ireland and the secession of the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom, the island of Ireland still fields a single team and is referred to as a Home Nation in the context of rugby union.[5] When France was expelled from the international championship in 1932, the tournament reverted to being known simply as the Home Nations tournament until the readmission of France immediately after the 1939 tournament, just before World War II caused its suspension until 1947. Since the admission of Italy in 2000, the tournament has been known by its current name, the Six Nations Championship.

Victories by any Home Nation over the other three in one Championship season is a Triple Crown.[6] The Home Nations also contribute players to a unified team known as the British and Irish Lions. Southern Hemisphere teams who beat all four home nations in one tour are said to have a Grand Slam Tour.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ymweliad Gwasanaeth Cyfathrebu'r Llywodraeth". Prifysgol Caerdydd.
  2. ^ Scott, Les (2008). End to End Stuff: The Essential Football Book. London: Random House. p. 446. ISBN 978-0-59306-068-1. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  3. ^ Nauright, John; Parrish, Charles, eds. (2012). Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice. Oxford, England: ABC-CLIO. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-59884-300-2. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Football For All U 18 schools to defend Championship title". Football Association of Ireland. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  5. ^ Mathew Brown; Patrick Guthrie; Greg Growden (2010), Rugby for Dummies, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 9780470677087, Home Nations: England, Ireland, Scotland Wales [appears in glossary]
  6. ^ "Official RBS 6 Nations Rugby : History". IRB. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Victory by any Home Nation over the other three Home Nations is a 'Triple Crown'.
  7. ^ Mortimer, James (5 April 2010). "A look at the All Blacks touring Grand Slams". allblacks.com, the official website of the All Blacks and NZ Rugby. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2011.