No Prize Fund for Women’s Six Nations Winners: Justified or Not?


Jack’s View

The gender pay gap in sports is a heavily spoken about topic, with lots of debate going on about whether women should be paid the same or at least a lot closer to men who play the same sport as they do. Whilst I believe that women doing the same job as men should be paid the exact same as men, I don’t think that applies in some of the situations that are being debated about. For example, a lot of talk goes into why female footballers aren’t paid the same as male footballers. The simple answer is that male football gets many more views than female football, and therefore more sponsors, which means there is much more money in the male game than there is the female game. However, this situation with the Six Nations is again a different situation entirely. This isn’t a question of the women’s teams not being paid the same as men, it’s a question of them being paid at all. Whilst the statement from the Six Nations CEO makes a little bit of sense, with England being the only fully professional team in the competition, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the other nations taking part deserve the right to compete for money just as the men do. England have won the Women’s Six Nations 13 times out of a possible 21 since the tournament changed from Five Nations to Six Nations in 2002. This means that they will always go into the tournament as favourites, and therefore the worry of added incentive for a team that is already likely to win shouldn’t matter, as it will also give the other nations an incentive to try and overthrow England, and will likely lead to much more entertaining tournaments in years to come.  

Room For Disagreement 

Six Nation’s CEO Ben Morel decided that the Women’s Six Nations wouldn’t get any prize funds as he is worried that it would make England too incentivised to win the competition and would make the whole thing far less competitive than it already is. Since the start of the competition in 2002, only Ireland and France have won when England haven’t, France six times and Ireland twice. Morel is worried that by adding a prize fund, other teams will win less and less, and the whole competition will become a lot less competitive.

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