Six Nations build-up starts here

The RBS Six Nations 2010 is now less than three weeks away, and this week we are starting our extensive coverage of one of our favourite rugby tournaments. Here is an overview of what we’ll have in store over the coming weeks and months.

Six Nations Trophy

Runners and riders
We will be offering our synopsis on each of the six teams in the competition, picking out strengths, weaknesses and key players to look out for – a must-read for anyone keen to play our fantasy and prediction games!

Pick the England team
This week, we will be starting a sequence of polls in which you can select the player that you would most like to see in that position. When we have the final results, we’ll put it together and publish the ideal team and we’ll send it off to Johnno – he may be grateful for our collective knowledge and opinion!

Team announcements
The Rugby Blog is building a reputation for being the first to publish the England team as soon as it is announced by Martin Johnson. This always generates some debate, so keep an eye on the site a few days before each game and share your views on the line-up. We’ll also publish details of the other nations’ team announcements.

Live Updates
These were very well-received when we did them during the Autumn Internationals, even if the rugby on display was fairly dire. We’ll be bringing you live updates from all of England’s games (and maybe some of the others as well), so tune in if you can’t watch the game. If you can watch the game, tune in anyway and share your views on the action as it happens.

Player Ratings
Each week, we’ll offer our views on which players performed well, and which didn’t, and we’ll monitor their progress throughout the tournament. Who knows, there might even be some glimpses of progression from England?

Feature articles
There is no doubt that every weekend will throw up various issues to be discussed, and we have our self-proclaimed team of experts on hand to bring you analysis and opinions. Everyone’s favourite writer, Stuart Peel is even dusting off his quill, so stand by for some more in-depth rants!

Podcasts
Nick Heath is currently preparing the ultimate Six Nations preview edition of The Rugby Blog Podcast, due to be published on Monday 1st February. He is speaking to some of the biggest names in the game, and it will be essential listening. We’ll also have the weekly edition every Thursday as usual throughout the tournament, so listen on the site or subscribe in iTunes if you haven’t already.

Predictions League
As usual, we are running a free predictions game with SportGuru. Pick the winner and winning margin of each game in the competition, and show off your rugby knowledge to fellow readers. If you have played in one of our other leagues, you won’t need to register again. It’s live already, so click here to join in.

Fantasy Six Nations
We’ll also run a league on Scrum’s Fantasy Six Nations, and we’ll bring you the details of that as soon as they launch the game. I’ll try and sort out a prize or two for each of the leagues.

New comments feature
When you add a comment to a discussion, there is now an option to be alerted by email when somebody else responds. This should keep the debate going, and make your life a little easier – thanks to Rob Watson for requesting this function! The site relies on your contributions and discussion, so please do leave your comments.

Here are the Six Nations Fixtures, and a handy tool to add them to your Outlook calendar.