Bonus points system to be trialled in Six Nations
A bonus points system will be used in this season's RBS Six Nations Championship.
The Six Nations Council announced bonus points will be trialled in the Six Nations, women's Six Nations and Under-20 Six Nations tournaments, and then reviewed.
The Council said it had taken the decision "to encourage and reward try-scoring and attacking play."
The first game of this season's Six Nations is Scotland against Ireland on February 4.
Competition points will be awarded in all matches on the following basis:
(i) The Union that wins the Match shall be awarded four Match Points or (if it scores four tries or more in the process) five Match Points.
(ii) The Union that loses the Match shall be awarded no Match Points or (if it scores four tries or more in the process or loses by a margin of seven points or fewer) one Match Point or (if it scores four tries or more in the process and loses by a margin of seven points or fewer) two Match Points.
(iii) Unions that draw a Match shall each be awarded two Match Points and any of them that scores four tries or more in the process shall be awarded a further one Match Point.
(iv) A Union that wins all five of its Matches (a "Grand Slam") shall be awarded a further three Match Points.
Pat Whelan, Chairman of the Six Nations said: "We have been looking at the feasibility of a bonus point system for a while and examining what kind of bonus point system would work best, given the unique properties and format of our Championships.
"We needed to ensure that whatever bonus point system we selected would work with the already proven structure of the Championships and would serve to materially improve what is already there.
"We are happy that the system that we have decided to trial is the one best suited to our Championships and we are delighted to be going ahead with this new development.
"We believe that the initiative will enhance our competitions for fans, teams, broadcasters and all of those for whom the Championship means so much."