Feb 28

Last weekend marked the halfway point of the RBS 6 Nations tournament, the annual clash of Europe’s biggest rugby union sides; England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy. The competition kicked off on the 4th February and Saturday’s match, which may well have been the title decider, saw England come away victorious after a tough match against France, the only other undefeated side. 

With the Grand Slam at stake and a nation’s pride to play for, things are certainly hotting up. But if you don’t know your tries from your touch-lines, your fly-halves from your full-backs or your scrums from your sin bins then fear not because here at ARKive we have decided to take a team-by-team look at the hottest rugby stars from the animal kingdom.


With a great deal of strength and ‘pride’, the obvious choice for England’s animal rugby star is the lion. Fast and powerful, this predator is never afraid to make a tackle! As an England supporter myself I just hope our lions will give a performance to be proud of in the two remaining games!

Photo of a lion bringing down a zebra


Flamboyant and stylish, the red junglefowl would be sure to make an impression on the pitch. The rooster has been associated with France since the middle ages and with victories against Scotland and Ireland already under their belts, the French supporters will be hoping to be given something to really crow about in their remaining fixtures.

Photo of a red junglefowl


The majestic red deer would certainly make Ireland’s team. In the rutting season the powerful males lock antlers, much like two players in a ruck. Using their size and strength to their advantage, the males push each other and try to throw their opponent off-balance by twisting, pretty impressive!

Photo of red deer stags rutting


Fast and graceful, the red kite would be great on the Welsh wing, quite literally! Wings are the quickest members of the team and need to be agile enough to avoid opponents in order to score tries, something the red kite could do with ease to help Wales with their all important points difference.

Photo of a red kite


While they may have traditionally been viewed as the ‘underdogs’ of the tournament, Italy are known for being tenacious, much like the beautiful grey wolf. This species knows the real value of teamwork, working together to bring down large and powerful prey (or opponents)!

Photo of a grey wolf


A secretive and skillful hunter with a bit of a ‘wild’ streak, the Scottish wild cat would undoubtedly have the tactics and cunning to outwit its opponents on the rugby pitch. Although Scotland are yet to see a win, this stealthy feline from the highlands shouldn’t be underestimated!

Photo of a Scottish wildcat

Claire Lewis, ARKive Media Researcher