The Irish secured a grand slam last time and will be looking to do the same once again.. but the bonus point rule could favour England this year.
Are bonus points still being used?
In a Six Nations first, bonus points were awarded in 2017 in what was designed to be a three-year trial run.
But due to its overwhelming success in encouraging attacking, engaging rugby, that trial has now been scrapped and the system brought in permanently.
How do you get a bonus point?
THE tournament uses a league system where the six competing nations are ranked in a table.
They receive four points for a win, two points for a draw and nothing for a defeat.
If a team wins all their games – called a Grand Slam – they are automatically given three extra points to make sure they finish top of the pile.
As of last year, bonus points are now awarded depending on performance during any given game.
A team will receive ONE extra point if they score four or more tries in a single match, and ONE extra point if they lose by seven or less.
Despite the excitement over the introduction of the system, it has yet to influence the standings in either of the years it has been in play.
How could the bonus point system favour England?
England's three easiest fixtures – against France, Scotland and Italy – will be played at Twickenham this year, giving them the maximum chance of scoring the four tries necessary to secure a bonus point.
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