The Women’s Six Nations is one of the rugby world’s most compelling tournaments, and Thomas Lyte’s beautifully hand-crafted trophy befits a competition that continues to go from strength to strength. First commissioned in 2008, the trophy has been handed to every winning captain ever since, with England the most regular recipients.
Thomas Lyte, a Royal Warrant holder, as the silversmiths and goldsmiths to Her Majesty the Queen, is the maker of many internationally renowned trophies that include the Emirates FA Cup, and the Women’s Six Nation’s prize is already widely recognised as one of the most prestigious in the sport.
The annual competition, which was founded in 1996, involves England, Ireland, France, Italy, Scotland and Wales and sees the cream of European rugby set off with a Grand Slam and Triple Crown dream, traditionally in March, with the tournament then concluding at the end of April.
In between tournaments, the trophy is lovingly restored by Thomas Lyte’s team of specialist silversmiths at our workshop in London, with their work ensuring that this iconic symbol of women’s sport maintains its allure year-after-year.
“The women’s Six Nations is a tournament that continually sees the very best players from across Europe coming together to compete for one of rugby’s most prestigious prizes,” says Kevin Baker, CEO and founder of Thomas Lyte. “To be the makers and restorers of that trophy continues to be a source of enormous pride.”
The five-piece, handmade sterling silver trophy has rapidly established itself as one of the most recognisable in women’s sport. Combining the centuries-old arts of casting and spinning, it’s a trophy that came to life in our London workshop, with our elite silversmiths crafting it from scratch and using their skills to create a unique yet elegant piece of silverware.
With the words ‘Six Nations Women’s Championship Winners’ engraved on the front of the trophy, the winners’ names also appear on the plinth. Our specialist engravers have carved England’s name most regularly on a trophy which also includes France, Ireland and Scotland on its list of winners.
Like many of our trophies, the life of the Six Nations crown is a busy one. This constantly in demand piece of silverware enjoys regular tours of Europe, bringing inspiration to female rugby players, young and old, wherever it goes. That schedule means that restoring the trophy is every bit as important as having hand-crafted it in the first place. During its regular trips to our workshop, we’ll ensure that when it’s next handed over, its appearance remains as timeless as ever. Our polishers maintain the stunning sterling silver shine, while our silversmiths are on hand to work on any dents or scratches that can occur when a trophy is handled so regularly. All of which means Thomas Lyte’s team of specialists can look forward to watching the now famous prize be handed to the victorious team when spring rolls around.
In sporting terms, the women’s Six Nations is still relatively young, with the first edition of the tournament having been played for as recently as 1996. It hasn’t, though, taken long for the competition to put down roots and evolve into one of the key elements of the women’s rugby calendar. That first tournament involved just the four home nations, with England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland competing for the title until France entered the fray in 1999. By the time it assumed its existing form, France were the pre-eminent force, winning three out of four Six Nations between 2002 and 2005.
Ireland won its first title – and Grand Slam – in 2013 and followed that first triumph with a second two years later. England, though, have been the dominant force in recent years and, up until 2022, have 17 wins to their name. Now, with the sport having enjoyed a huge boost in popularity since the tournament’s earliest days, the Women’s Six Nations, like the trophy itself, is one of the most esteemed in women’s sport.
In addition to making and restoring the Women’s Six Nations trophy, Thomas Lyte is proud to have designed and hand-crafted the majority of the sport’s other major prizes including; the Women’s Rugby World Cup; EPCR European Champions Cup; CPCR European Challenge Cup; Men’s Six Nations Trophy; and the Lions Series Trophy.