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Last year's outcome:

In full - here.

 

Fixtures:

In full - here.

 

Key dates:

Round 1 - France vs England, Sun 2nd Feb, 16:00

Round 2 - Ireland vs Wales, Sat 8th Feb, 14:15 

Round 3 - England vs Ireland, Sun 23rd Feb, 16:00

Round 4 - England vs Wales, Sat 7th March, 16:45

 

Odds / Favourites:

Oddschecker overview - here.

World Rankings - England 3rd, Wales 4th, Ireland 5th, France 7th, Scotland behind Japan, Italy who cares?

World Cup form - England final, Wales semi final, Ireland quarter final*, France quarter final, Scotland behind Japan, Italy who cares?

 

Notes on odds:

 

Essentially, England are strong favourites playing both Wales and Ireland at home off the back of a trip to the World Cup final.


Home advantage is considered massive in the Six Nations and England have been overwhelming bookies favourites to win the "even" years (where they always host Ireland and Wales) ever since the decline of France. It doesn't always work out that way, though. Since France last won the tournament outright (a Grand Slam win in 2010) Wales (two Grand Slams, one points win), Ireland (one Grand Slam, two points wins) and England (one Grand Slam, two points wins) have won the tournament three times each with two of England's tournament wins (admittedly, the two without clean sweeps) coming on "odd" years in 2011 and 2017. Meanwhile, Ireland achieved Grand Slam success winning at Twickenham in 2018 with Wales doing so in 2012.

It's also worth noting that an 'even' year means England travel to Murrayfield where Scotland still hold the Calcutta Cup after winning in 2018 and drawing last year at Twickenham in a quite frankly ridiculous match.

So what does this mean? It means smart money is definitely on England but really smart money is not betting on outrights at all.

 

 

*obviously

 

The Squads: 

England - eight uncapped players.

Ireland - five uncapped players, a new head coach (Andy Farrell) and a new captain (Jonathan Sexton.)

Wales - five uncapped players, new head coach (Wayne Pivac.)

France - nineteen uncapped players (seriously), a new coach (Fabien Galthie) and unsurprisingly a new captain (Charles Ollivon, 11 caps.)

Scotland - six uncapped players and a new captain (Stuart Hogg.)

Italy - four uncapped players, a new coach (Franco Smith) and a new captain (no  idea.)

 

Notes on coaches:

 

Only two coaches, Eddie Jones and Gregor Townsend, are still here post World Cup and both have a lot of questions to answer, having been under heavy scrutiny. In Townsend's case, his continued employment is verging on near inexplicable as Scotland limped out of the World Cup looking thoroughly directionless. Dave Rennie (Kiwi coaching genius, not Leicester City physio) looked destined to succeed Townsend when he took up the job at Glasgow but they lingered long enough that he took an even more impossible job, Australia. Criticism of Jones was obviously more tempered as England reached the final with a resounding triumph over New Zealand in the semis, though their turgid performance in last year's Six Nations and flat displays in every other World Cup game leave lingering doubts. 


Ireland can surely expect more of the same from Andy Farrell, who was deputy to Joe Schmidt, but Wayne Pivac is looking to take Wales in an entirely new direction. Warren Gatland being rugby's Jose Mourinho, Wales became fairly renowned for an ugly, stubborn, defensive philosophy which brought success but was contradictory to the lifelong philosophy of the Welsh game. Wayne Pivac is the complete opposite, a modern, attacking coach looking to implement an expansive, offloading game that won him Pro 12 success with the Scarlets. Whether he can make that kind of impact in six months is obviously yet to be seen.

Fabien Galithe becomes France's fifth head coach since their last Six Nations win. He came in to the French side as a "consultant" or assistant coach during 2019 and is largely credited with their regaining some stability and looking a lot more competitive during both the build up for and the tournament proper in Japan. Where as Brunel was the ultimate French rugby eccentric, Galithe is a functional pragmatist who believes in fitness and structure. Also of note is that he's joined by ex-Wales defence coach, Shaun Edwards, arguably the best defensive organizer in world rugby. Still, nineteen uncapped players is an enormous overhaul and whilst all of the Six Nations squads are showing signs of the post-World Cup need for rejuvenation, there's no doubt that the most disruption will be with France. It's their third or fourth "reinvention" in the last few years so really, **** only knows what to expect when England turn up in Paris for round 1.

 

 

First Game:

Saturday 1st Feb, Wales vs Italy, 14:15

 

Last Game:

Sat 14th March, France vs Ireland, 20:00

 

 

Edited by Finnegan
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4 minutes ago, Izzy said:

I'm all over Wales to win this at 6/1 odds :thumbup:

 

Honestly, I mean it's yours to lose unless you're just going to go all  Spursy again and bottle it.

 

Say, given the amount of England internationals in the Spurs side, maybe the common denominator isn't actually Tottenham.... :whistle:

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1 hour ago, Izzy said:

I'm all over Wales to win this at 6/1 odds :thumbup:


I’ll take a pint on it Muzzett ...  and if you win it’s 6 for you ! ....   :)

 

FREE DRINK FOR CF !   Get in !!

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Think this is the toughest one to call in years despite what the bookies say.

 

Fvck it, I'm saying France will win it.

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Genuinely all banter and humour aside, I'd say I think England probably should and likely will win it. I'll be very surprised if they win every game but they'll probably come out on top. That said, there'd be absolutely no shame or embarrassment if they didn't. In the decade just gone, the "big three", if you will, have been about as close as they ever have been which makes for about the most competitive tournament you're going to get. I can't really remember a period in my lifetime where, for such a sustained time, three countries were all genuinely pretty much neck and neck. As I said above, three titles each between us for the last nine says it all.

 

From 2000 to 2009 there were only two years (the first two, 2000 and 2001) without a Triple Crown and eight were won in a row. From 2010 to 2019 there been five years without. There were three consecutive non-Grand Slam years between Wales in 2012 and England in 2016, the first time that's happened since the 70s.

 

England, followed by Ireland, are comfortably the most settled comng in to it, we don't know what impact the Sarries scandal may have on the mentality of the seven of them in the squad, most of whom will be expecting to start, but other than that there should be no real drama for Jones. Obviously, France represent an enormous curveball on day one. Of all their fixtures, it probably represents the most obvious danger and getting off to a losing start is never ideal. A Shaun Jones organised, Fabien Galthie lead France orchestrated by Ntamack's dazzling feet could be a scary prospect in an energized Paris. 

 

Wales are really another unknown. It's rare for me to say it but I genuinely don't mind where we finish as long as we show good signs, it's very much a transition year, Pivac wants to overhaul the entire style of the side and we need to blood a number of youngsters to replace an ageing cast who've been integral over Gatland's reign. Granted, our last transitional year started with a bang, a win in Twickenham in round one en route to an Ospreys inspired Grand Slam. But I think expecting the same now is fantasy in the extreme. 

 

I imagine (through serious red tinted glasses, realistically Ireland should finish second) something like:

 

1. England (unconvincing win in France, defeat in Scotland, rise to win the home games.)

2. Wales (lose in England and Ireland, finish second on bonus points, scoring our most tries in years.)

3. Ireland (slightly below par try yield, lose in England and France.) 

4. France (lose to England, and narrowly away to Wales and Scotland despite improvement)

5. Scotland (lose to Wales and Ireland then slip up in Rome.)

6. Italy (lose to everyone but Scotland, Sergio Parisse isn't in their initial squad. He reckons he'll play one or two games as a farewell in the tournament. I reckon he'll be targeting Scotland in Italy as a real last chance hurrah.)

 

Edited by Finnegan

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13 hours ago, Countryfox said:

Feel free to join in Taff ....  :)

 

11 hours ago, Finnegan said:

Genuinely all banter and humour aside, I'd say I think England probably should and likely will win it. I'll be very surprised if they win every game but they'll probably come out on top. That said, there'd be absolutely no shame or embarrassment if they didn't. In the decade just gone, the "big three", if you will, have been about as close as they ever have been which makes for about the most competitive tournament you're going to get. I can't really remember a period in my lifetime where, for such a sustained time, three countries were all genuinely pretty much neck and neck. As I said above, three titles each between us for the last nine says it all.

 

From 2000 to 2009 there were only two years (the first two, 2000 and 2001) without a Triple Crown and eight were won in a row. From 2010 to 2019 there been five years without. There were three consecutive non-Grand Slam years between Wales in 2012 and England in 2016, the first time that's happened since the 70s.

 

England, followed by Ireland, are comfortably the most settled comng in to it, we don't know what impact the Sarries scandal may have on the mentality of the seven of them in the squad, most of whom will be expecting to start, but other than that there should be no real drama for Jones. Obviously, France represent an enormous curveball on day one. Of all their fixtures, it probably represents the most obvious danger and getting off to a losing start is never ideal. A Shaun Jones organised, Fabien Galthie lead France orchestrated by Ntamack's dazzling feet could be a scary prospect in an energized Paris. 

 

Wales are really another unknown. It's rare for me to say it but I genuinely don't mind where we finish as long as we show good signs, it's very much a transition year, Pivac wants to overhaul the entire style of the side and we need to blood a number of youngsters to replace an ageing cast who've been integral over Gatland's reign. Granted, our last transitional year started with a bang, a win in Twickenham in round one en route to an Ospreys inspired Grand Slam. But I think expecting the same now is fantasy in the extreme. 

 

I imagine (through serious red tinted glasses, realistically Ireland should finish second) something like:

 

1. England (unconvincing win in France, defeat in Scotland, rise to win the home games.)

2. Wales (lose in England and Ireland, finish second on bonus points, scoring our most tries in years.)

3. Ireland (slightly below par try yield, lose in England and France.) 

4. France (lose to England, and narrowly away to Wales and Scotland despite improvement)

5. Scotland (lose to Wales and Ireland then slip up in Rome.)

6. Italy (lose to everyone but Scotland, Sergio Parisse isn't in their initial squad. He reckons he'll play one or two games as a farewell in the tournament. I reckon he'll be targeting Scotland in Italy as a real last chance hurrah.)

 


Do you know how fookin long it’s took me to read that jiggling about in the back of a taxi from the airport ..   anyway, if you think England will win it looks like Muzzett is the only one who will be buying me a pint ...  😊

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18 minutes ago, Countryfox said:

 


Do you know how fookin long it’s took me to read that jiggling about in the back of a taxi from the airport ..   anyway, if you think England will win it looks like Muzzett is the only one who will be buying me a pint ...  😊

 

I think that's just banter, I tell Izzy that it's England's to throw away, he tells me Wales are favourites and are going to win, its become a running joke. 

 

England are heavy favourites with almost every pundit for a reason. 

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My rugby bonkers Welsh mate who I’d normally watch all the games with passed away the week before the World Cup started. I weirdly don’t seem to have it in me atm to kinda get up for this tournament right now. 

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7 minutes ago, Swan Lesta said:

My rugby bonkers Welsh mate who I’d normally watch all the games with passed away the week before the World Cup started. I weirdly don’t seem to have it in me atm to kinda get up for this tournament right now. 

 

Sorry to hear pal. 

 

FWIW, I'm sure he'd want you to crack a beer end enjoy it. 

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Looking at the fixtures, England have the favourable set. So I think they will sneak it with Wales, Ireland and France scrapping it out just below. Scotland will beat Italy and I fancy them to pick something up in one other game too.

 

Really hard to call but it should make a really good tournament.

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9 hours ago, KrefelderFox666 said:

Really hard to call but it should make a really good tournament.

 

That part is definitely true. 

 

It's been great the last few years, that's the bottom line. 

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10 hours ago, Leeds Fox said:

Read the Thread Title and thought it was some kind of Rugby/Cricket hybrid at first. 

 

Put nothing past ECB. 

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17 hours ago, Leeds Fox said:

Read the Thread Title and thought it was some kind of Rugby/Cricket hybrid at first. 

Italy wouldnt be much worse at Cricket 6 Nations than they already are at Rugby Union 6 Nations to be fair

Edited by Nalis

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11 hours ago, Nalis said:

Italy wouldnt be much worse at Cricket 6 Nations than they already are at Rugby Union 6 Nations to be fair

 

The Scotch would probably still find some way of finishing fifth. 

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Believe it or not I wasnt joking about France earlier in the thread haha.

 

I'm not hopeful for Ireland in general, I know I'm biased but Murray starting ahead of Conney is ridiculous, playing a lot of the old guard doesnt inspire us for the present or the future....

 

...but we'll still beat Scotland as they are shi te.

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13 hours ago, Nalis said:

Believe it or not I wasnt joking about France earlier in the thread haha.

 

I'm not hopeful for Ireland in general, I know I'm biased but Murray starting ahead of Conney is ridiculous, playing a lot of the old guard doesnt inspire us for the present or the future....

 

...but we'll still beat Scotland as they are shi te.

 

I think this year, more than most years recently, France genuinely are an unknown. People love that stereotype about WhIcH fRaNcE wILl ShOw Up but it does have some weight to it this year. 

 

The new coaching set up isn't a joke, Shaun Edwards is a brilliant edition to a national team desperate for some structure and professionalism. 

 

Plus, the they've been absolutely smashing it at age group for a while. Now, in any sport, that's not a GUARANTEE of future success but it does tell you that all of these youngsters France are blooding will come in looking confident and used to international success. 

 

I still think this year will be premature, England and Ireland will both still expect to go there as favourites and trips to Scotland and Wales will be very tough. But none of those games are nailed on Ls and if they get some momentum winning Le Crunch then who knows? 

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1 hour ago, Finnegan said:

 

I think this year, more than most years recently, France genuinely are an unknown. People love that stereotype about WhIcH fRaNcE wILl ShOw Up but it does have some weight to it this year. 

 

The new coaching set up isn't a joke, Shaun Edwards is a brilliant edition to a national team desperate for some structure and professionalism. 

 

Plus, the they've been absolutely smashing it at age group for a while. Now, in any sport, that's not a GUARANTEE of future success but it does tell you that all of these youngsters France are blooding will come in looking confident and used to international success. 

 

I still think this year will be premature, England and Ireland will both still expect to go there as favourites and trips to Scotland and Wales will be very tough. But none of those games are nailed on Ls and if they get some momentum winning Le Crunch then who knows? 

Thats what I was basing a lot of it on and the quality of those coming through for the french clubs but yeah you are right in terms of not knowing how that will translate into the 1st team.

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Superb performance by Wales. They're gonna take some beating this 6N

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