2. England vs. Wales
The Scots, French and Irish may want to be England each year as much as Wales, but two factors make this the big one in the northern part of the globe. First, Wales’ national identity is intrinsically linked to rugby – a game that unites a nation and cuts across class barriers in a way in never has in England means there is a particular edge to this match (often to Wales’ detriment).
Secondly, Wales’ superior record against England compared to the other northern hemispheres means this is no one-way rivalry. Welsh captain Phil Bennett once gave a team talk that went: “We’ve been exploited, raped, controlled and punished by the English – and that’s who you are playing this afternoon.”