Opinion: The bonus point system could ruin the 6 Nations

The unique format of the Championship is to be altered in 2017

Rory Best, Ireland, Joe Schmidt, Six Nations, trophy

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

The news today that the 6 Nations will feature a bonus point system from 2017 could ruin the unique format of the tournament.

Normally, I'm all for the bonus point system in literally every other rugby competition played from from World Cups to Rugby Championship to European Cup and Super Rugby.

The lack of a "home and away" structure in the 6 Nations is where this new system could become quite unfair. It's the only tournament in the world where every game is a cup final and leads to that old favourite: "you can't win a grand slam on the opening weekend but you can lose one."

With some teams playing three games at home and others playing two every year, the tournament could morph from the pressure cooker it is into a sloppy home-advantaged bore.  

The beauty of the 6 Nations is the pressure each game brings - win at all costs. Watering down the current format might make blow-out games interesting but when Italy have shipped 50 points against France, I don't really care if they can get a four-try bonus point. 

Of course, every second year the tables are turned but why emphasise the current situation by adding bonus points to the mix. For the record, I'm not saying the bonus points won't lead to exciting rugby - I just think it will hand an even greater advantage to teams who play three home matches in any given year. 

When something isn't broken, there's no need to fix it.