Former Wales winger Shane Williams has spoken about how difficult it is to win the Six Nations.
The 44-year-old is a legendary performer for his country, and knows a thing or two about what it takes to win what he describes as a “fast and furious” competition.
Williams believes it’s a rugby tournament with extremely high standards, as he noted that you’ll be up against many of the best teams and players in the world, so you can’t afford an off-day.
“You’re playing against the best players in Europe, some of the best teams in the world, so if you switch off or your form dips at all, you get found out very, very quickly,” Williams told Betway.
“The other thing with the Six Nations is if you pick up any niggles in training, or you’re injured, or if something isn’t quite right, in the blink of an eye, you’re two or three games in and the competition is over.
“It’s a fast and furious tournament and you know that any team could win it. There’s never an out-and-out favourite.”
Williams added, however, that success at this level also involves luck.
There’s no doubt that Williams and that great Wales side he played in had plenty of quality, but even the best teams need a bit of good fortune on their side sometimes.
“You need a massive amount of luck to win the Six Nations,” he added. “Just little decisions, a referee perhaps being a bit lenient on a decision, a referee getting it wrong, the luck of a bounce, or a mistake made by the opposition.
“Even players getting injured when you’re meant to be playing against them. Anything, any kind of decision like that, you take them all day long, whether it’s to the detriment of another team or it benefits you.
“Sometimes you find that you get on the referee’s right side, and sometimes your team’s annoying the ref, and the captain is not quite getting in his own way and decisions go against you. The problem is, when these decisions don’t go your way, it’s almost a snowball effect.
“You start to lose discipline, other players in your team that lose discipline. All these factors count, they really do.
“It’s all about doing whatever it takes to win.”
Williams is the record try scorer for Wales, and his performances in the 2008 Six Nations led to him being named the player of the tournament.