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Why do we love the Six Nations? We asked our Independent.ie readers for their best memories

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17 March 2018; Ireland captain Rory Best lifts the Six Nations Championship trophy following the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

17 March 2018; Ireland captain Rory Best lifts the Six Nations Championship trophy following the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

17 March 2018; Ireland captain Rory Best lifts the Six Nations Championship trophy following the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

The Six Nations is just around the corner and we have got in touch with our readers to find out exactly why they love the competition. Here is a collection of your responses.

"ROG, Johnny's last gasp drop goals (And BOD's while concussed v England!). The Bull in Tears, POM's warlike Amhran na bhFiann, 'Did you put the fear of God into anyone'. Horgan and Stockdale’s legendary tries. Tommmmyyyy Boowweee...Bundee......Hot Ones in Lansdowne Rd, Pints and Songs with the Welsh in O'Donoghue's, Scotland the Brave, bagpipes, Land of My Fathers, Sergio Parisse, wheels regularly coming off the Chariot...Grand Slam at Twickenham.....World's Best Tournament bar none!"

Eugene, Connacht fan

"I have one fond memory that stands out for my love of the Six Nations. Bringing it back to an historical event twelve years ago when England stood on the grounds of Croke Park. The whole occasion was momentous, to the build-up and the anticipation which was surrounded by an unavoidable controversy about the game of rugby which was about to take place.

"Watching the hype of the whole event unfold on a 16in T.V lead to goosebumps all over; from the England team singing, God Save The Queen', followed by the Irish Anthem that echoed all around the stadium, from tears in John Hayes eyes to the emotions expressed across the remaining players; it was difficult not to be moved. After an expectant roar by an 80,000 packed stadium lead to an immense game of rugby where bodies were put on the line and for the Irish team to answer Ireland's call.

"At the young age of 14, watching in pride the performance of an exceptional Irish rugby team unravel over 80 minutes and beat the English in a passionate game, was one of the moments that lead to my love of rugby. It was memorable for so many reasons and the emotional atmosphere added to what I consider one of my favourite memories of a Six Nations game."

Grace, Munster fan

"I have loved the Six Nations since I was knee high to a grasshopper, of course it was the Five Nations then. Every Saturday our father would drag us out to start work on a long list of jobs that he must have spent the whole week planning out for us. Usually it involved digging, pulling, dragging, cleaning in the cold, wind, rain and general dreariness of an Irish Winter. However there was nothing better than when there was a Six Nations game on a Saturday. 15 minutes before kick off we would be in, kettle on, coffee made, biscuits and chocolate laid out all in time for that whistle. With the curtains drawn and the volume up we would be transfixed for the next 80 minutes urging on the men in green. Of course we didn't win as much then as we do now but it didn't matter it was still miles better than weeding!"

Niall, Munster fan

Every team is pushing for the title and anything can happen. I love the unpredictability of the tournament and also it gives the spectator a chance to see new players emerging from other countries. Previous tournaments have been so exciting and I have no doubt the 2019 matches will be no different. The upcoming tournament gives me, as a father of three primary school kids, the opportunity to show them what team sport is all about and to encourage them to go out there and get involved in sport.

Bernard, Leinster fan

"I love the Six Nations because it’s more of a tradition than a competition. It’s a link back to the sport that we have been following all my life.

"Since Ollie Campbell and Tony Ward battled it out (My Granny was an Ollie Campbell fan).  I loved it when Ginger McLoughlin scored a try in the corner with dozens of English Men hanging off him. I remember roaring with pride in a pub in London as Anthony Foley scored his first try for Ireland on a day we were hammered in Twickenham, and O'Driscoll scoring a hat-trick in Paris. I remember the wooden spoons, the first triple crowns, Croke Park, John Hayes' tears and watching players from my province stepping up on the biggest stage. I still love watching it with my own family and the hairs on the back of my neck still stand up when I hear the anthems and the kids roll their eyes as I belt the songs out."

Anthony, Munster fan

"The Six Nations is the time for Ireland to showcase our talent every year and show why we are one of the best nations for rugby. We may be small but we follow the boys to end no matter what, doesn't matter if you're from Munster, Leinster, Ulster, or Connacht when in green we are one."

Richard, Munster fan

"It's a brilliant sport and all the players have an amazing talent and especially now that more Connacht Players have been called up, I'll be glued to the TV."

Marie, Connacht fan

"It gives Ireland the chance to pull one over all, if not some, of our near neighbours on an annual basis."

Aodhan, Connacht fan

"Living abroad for many years, the Six Nations brought Irish expats together and we supported from afar, now that I am home with my kids, all of whom play rugby, I try and get to as many matches as possible. Ireland certainly began to play better when we relocated home; maybe we are one of the team’s lucky charms. They have certainly brought a lot of joy to our home and I love how it brings our family together."

Alex, Leinster fan

"I love the Six Nations because it's the oldest competition in world rugby and has always been one of the hardest to win so you have to be playing rugby of the highest standard and be able to cope with the physical demands of intense test match rugby. Dramatic twists and turns all add to the excitement of this special tournament."

Andrew, Leinster fan

"Love the build up and hype every year. Then the actual matchday itself with all the excitement and talk in the bars and pubs. The walk down to Aviva and the crescendo when the teams come out the tunnel. There is nothing to beat it."

Dan, Connacht fan

"I feel weak at the knees with excitement when I see the boys run out onto the pitch! I adore rugby, especially when my country play."

Sharon, Leinster fan

"The Six Nations is epic! Best opportunity for people who aren't necessarily rugby fans to get involved with the sport in a really competitive format."

Valerie, Leinster fan

"It always brings people up in mood at this time of the year - it's a great thing to look forward to. Also a fantastic (friendly) rivalry with the Brits which is great to keep going in these Brexity times."

Neil, Munster fan

"I love the Six Nations because it brings everyone from the four provinces of Ireland together, politics, religion etc.

Cormac , Leinster fan

"I love the Six Nations because it highlights the northern hemisphere's rugby talent in a format that generates massive excitement by enabling tribal nationalism in a friendly, sporting context."

John, Ulster fan

"It reminds me of watching Five Nations matches with my dad on Saturday evenings when I was a child. Fred Cogley commentating and my mam gone to town shopping!!!"

Sinead, Leinster fan

"I love the 6 Nations for the following reasons .......the passion, courage, honesty, loyalty, patriotism, comradeship, heroism and sheer fun. The chance to meet up with pals and chat endlessly about all of the possibilities. Banter with English colleagues, friendly rivalries, Monday morning reviews. ROG's thoughtful and incisive comments. Conor O'Shea's brilliant analysis. Donal Lenihan's knowledge and commitment to the cause. Connacht fire, Leinster flair, Munster passion and Ulster grit all united in one cause for the glory of Ireland."

Gerrard, Munster fan

"It’s a chance for our small nation to show we are one of the best in the world at something. It brings the best of passion and national pride out in genuine supporters and always in a respectful dignified way. And this year it means more than ever as defending Grand Slam champions and with the World Cup around the corner. Everyone will want to beat us, which means, we need to be at our best every game. I can't wait!

"If I am not there I will be screaming at a telly somewhere! I love it!"

Robert, Leinster fan

The Six Nations is what got me into rugby and sport generally. Going to matches as a schoolboy and standing in the terrace are some of my earliest memories.

Ben, Leinster fan

Online Editors