James Mortimer 08.Jan.2013Getty Images
The concept of bonus points came into popularity during rugby’s rise to professionalism, and now major domestic competitions, such as Investec Super Rugby and the Heineken Cup, through to the game’s glamour event in the Rugby World Cup – have bonus points.
They are awarded for scoring four tries, or losing within seven points, and it is possible to pick up two of the points, single denominators that have often been the difference between winning and losing a title.
In Super Rugby particularly, the bonus point has become a crucial element in guaranteeing representation in the Super Rugby Final’s Series.
Reports in England have said that the Six Nations Committee have had a full paper prepared to consider whether or not to chop down what some may consider to be the sole remaining amateur aspect of our game.
For years The Six Nations has rejected any idea to adopt the system, with the roll of honour for the tournament littered with dual winners, with no bonus point to separate the teams.
"We have resisted the change for the past 10 years, but there is pressure to join the mainstream, not least from commercial partners, because it would potentially increase permutations in the table at the end of the season," said a source within the RFU to the Observer.
“But the bottom line is that it is the system that people have become used to.”
With such a system in theory a team could win a Grand Slam in second place, if the top team lost but collected a bonus point in every fixture.