Wales are our opposition – Grand Slam champs last year, but wins have been few are far between since then, including a pretty humiliating defeat to Samoa. Warren Gatland has hobbled back into action, but where to next for Wales, apart from a massive talent drain to France, is a mystery to me. They have all the talent, but making it work as a unit – that’s much harder. What about Saturday? After having victory so cruelly snatched from us last year in the last minute, is it our turn to be cruel this year? We’ll be aching for revenge, and if Samoa can do it, we can do it too, so I’m going with a win to get us up and running.
Scotland enter this competiton with pretty modest expectations – after cleaning up in their summer tour , including victory over Australia, they went back to losing ways in the November tests, and both their Heineken Cup teams played 12 matches without a win between them. I’d expect the normal wooden spoon tussle with Italy.
England are a bit of a dark horse, underperforming on the whole, except for one dramatic and deserved win over the All Blacks, the end of which we’re not likely to hear of soon. This could be their year- there is plenty to admire in the team – Fodden, Robshaw, and a few cocky bruisers not to admire- Ashton, Hartley, they are the nearly men at the moment, and I don’t think this is quite their year yet, as their young players mature, but they should beat Scotland.
France are battling it out with England in the under achiever stakes, you feel like you could get Toulouse and Clermont, and alone out of those teams get a team which could beat anybody, anytime. The French players seem to be keeping their powder dry for their club game at the moment, but having said all that, I’m backing the unfathomable French to use Phillipe Saint Andres’ experience to guide them home this year, to the trophy if not the slam.
Italy wlll bring up the rear again, a few close calls for visiting teams, and a mighty battle with Scotland is likely to sum up their season, and France will be too much for them in the opening game.
Sat - 2nd Feb 13
13:30 RBS Six Nations Wales vs Ireland
16:00 RBS Six Nations England vs Scotland
Sun - 3rd Feb 13
15:00 RBS Six Nations Italy vs France
Sat - 9th Feb 13
14:30 RBS Six Nations Scotland vs Italy
17:00 RBS Six Nations France vs Wales
Sun - 10th Feb 13
15:00 RBS Six Nations Ireland vs England
Sat - 23rd Feb 13
14:30 RBS Six Nations Italy vs Wales
17:00 RBS Six Nations England vs France
Sun - 24th Feb 13
14:00 RBS Six Nations Scotland vs Ireland
Sat - 9th Mar 13
14:30 RBS Six Nations Scotland vs Wales
17:00 RBS Six Nations Ireland vs France
Sun - 10th Mar 13
15:00 RBS Six Nations England vs Italy
Sat - 16th Mar 13
14:30 RBS Six Nations Italy vs Ireland
17:00 RBS Six Nations Wales vs England
20:00 RBS Six Nations France vs Scotland