The dust has settled on another Six Nations, with Wales not sorry to see the back of this particular one after a challenging campaign that saw them flirt with finishing bottom for the first time in 20 years.

Ultimately, they avoided such ignominy, leaving Italy to once again prop up the rest.

But Warren Gatland’s side will appreciate the scale of the challenge facing them in the months ahead. It is unclear if the coaches know their best side just six months out from the World Cup, and their squad will have to go some to mount a major challenge at the tournament in France, notwithstanding that they are in a favourable half of the draw.

Read more: Wales winners and losers as one star produces incredible stats, Gatland still has problems and TV glitch upsets viewers

Quite what shape Wales will be in come the start of the 2024 Six Nations is not certain. What do the numbers for the edition that's just finished tell us about them and the rest? MARK ORDERS takes a look.


Minutes spent on the pitch for Wales in this Six Nations by Keiran Williams and Teddy Williams. Wales were the least effective ball carriers but opted not to use Keiran Williams, Welsh rugby's pocket battleship who is renowned for his ability to take the ball forward. Injury ruled him out of contention for the final round.


Try assists from Rhys Webb. Only Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont managed more in the championship, each coming up with four.

Also, just three penalties were successfully kicked by Wales, one apiece by Leigh Halfpenny, Dan Biggar and Owen Williams. In 2008, James Hook nailed four penalties in 63 minutes in the opening game against England. Nowadays, sides are increasingly playing for tries rather than going for goal.

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Tries scored by Wales against France. It was the first time in the Fabien Galthie era that the French have leaked that many at home in a single game.


Touchdowns conceded by Grand Slam winners Ireland. No team were so mean in defence.


Carries it took Wales to break a tackle on average in this Six Nations. By contrast, France broke a tackle every 3.86 carries. The championship’s top ball carrier, Duhan van der Merwe, broke a tackle every 1.34 charges.


Missed tackles by Italy’s Pierre Bruno. He made 18 successful hits. While he attacked well, no-one else let more past in defence.


The tries conceded by Wales, the most they have leaked in a championship campaign since their horror year of 1998, when England spanked them 60-26 and France dished out a 51-0 thrashing at Wembley. New defence chief Mike Forshaw would have hoped for much better.


Career touchdowns scored by George North in the Six Nations, a Welsh record, eclipsing Shane Williams’ mark. Classily, Williams was the first to congratulate North on setting the new mark.


Changes were made by Wales in the tournament. Leave aside any positional switches that bumped up the tally, Warren Gatland found it hard to nail down his best team as he experimented throughout. It was no basis for success.


Offloads from Wales, with 16 arriving in the final game against France, six of them coming from recalled centre Nick Tompkins, who offloaded more than any other player in the tournament, with nine. No other side came up with as many offloads as Wales, despite the poor finishing position.


Dominant tackles from Wales, joint first with Italy. Warren Gatland’s side may have lost collisions with the ball but they defended with physicality. Justin Tipuric led the way with eight dominant hits. Only one player, the Azzurri’s Danilo Fischetti, put in more, with 10.


Points was the margin of England defeat against France at Twickenham (53-10). It was their heaviest home loss since they started playing Test rugby 152 years ago.


Tackles missed by Scotland. No team missed fewer hits. Take a bow, Steve Tandy, the Scots' Welsh defence coach. If the Welsh Rugby Union are not looking to bring him home at some point, they should be.


Points scored by Thomas Ramos, the most by anyone in the competition this year. His tally is the highest ever recorded by a French player in a single edition of the tournament.


Wales caps won by Leigh Halfpenny. Pretty much everyone in rugby will hope one of rugby’s most popular and unassuming figures goes on to complete his century. The 34-year-old’s first job will be to secure a place Wales’ World Cup training squad. Do that and his big moment will surely follow.


Wales caps won by Taulupe Faletau. The No. 8 also made 60 carries in this edition of the tournament. Just one player, Freddie Steward, took the ball forward more times, with the England full-back credited with 62 runs.


Defenders were beaten by Italian players, an average of 26 a game, including 41 against England and 38 against Wales. In all, the Azzurri made 29 clean breaks, with 11 coming against Warren Gatland’s side. They may have finished bottom of the pile yet again, but they were entertaining.


Points in the Six Nations that have been scored by Johnny Sexton, a new record, bettering Ronan O’Gara’s long-standing mark of 557. Stephen Jones is fifth on the all-time list with 467, while Leigh Halfpenny is a place below on 422.


Pounds was the extra cash Wales earned for finishing fifth rather than sixth in the table. They are believed to have pocketed £1.5 million for their efforts, small beer compared to the £6 million Grand Slam winners Ireland banked in prize money.

Numbers, of course, reveal only so much. But Ireland will be pleased with their fourth Grand Slam and Italy less happy to pick up the wooden spoon for the 17th time.

In 320 days’ time, it will start up again, when France host Ireland in Paris.

More than a few will be counting down the days.


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