With the Autumn Nations finished and the Six Nations on the horizon, the fans have speculated on who will be victorious this year.
Although some fans have agreed there may be surprises. So here are some predictions on each of the teams, and how they will do:
With a mediocre Autumn Nations performance, and now the sacking of Eddie Jones, England’s performance in the Six Nations is considered to be in doubt and shaky at best, according to fans.
England has been known to beat the odds before and may surprise us all.
But, with a new coach and a new influx of players- it seems likely that the Six Nations competition will not prove to be the time when England is at its best. However, it could be a turning point- and if done right could be a set-up for a respectable World Cup team.
Their strengths, according to fans, are their pack skills and the breadth of available players, for different tactics. Their weaknesses are their scrum half and the fact that the new coach is new to this Six Nations competition.
A lot could be said for the improvements that the Scottish team made during the Autumn Nations. This team has proven that they can show great discipline and fortitude. However, a new issue arises, namely Scotland’s staying power.
The issue, unfortunately, is that Scotland tends to run out of steam by the 60th minute. This allows other teams to take advantage. But Scotland’s ability to work together as a team, and their good discipline on the field, could make Scotland the dark horse.
Many fans believe that the Scottish team could have a good showing during the competition.
Their strengths, according to fans, are their innovative attacks and their ability to play some good exciting rugby. Their weaknesses are their fragile mentality, which can lead to a lack of discipline and to them tiring out too quickly.
A team that was predicted to do well in last year’s Six Nations, and in the Autumn Nations this year. However, they have been known to ease up after the 50th minute, thus allowing the other team too many chances. They need to play the full 80 minutes if they are to gain anything from their matches. They also need to take each game at a time, instead of resting on their laurels after each match.
Their strengths, according to fans, are in having a strong prop. Whilst their weaknesses are in having a bad run of form, being weak in the attack and in their tendency to ease up around the 50th minute.
Ireland had a tremendous Autumn Nations campaign, when they gained wins over the world champions South Africa and Australia. Also, last year they became runners-up in the Six Nations, and adding to their accolades is the fact that they were Triple Crown winners last year as well.
Ireland are a safe bet to win the Six Nations competition.
The only thing going against this is the fact that they have many away games. These are usually tough going on any team.
Their strengths, according to fans, are superb teamwork and great counter-play. Their weaknesses are a few players getting too old and their struggle to replace injured players.
France were the winner of last year’s Six Nations. They also got the Grand Slam, beating every team in the competition. The French team is looking to repeat this feat this time around and become back-to-back winners. However, there is a chance that they may be inattentive during this competition, as their focus will instead be on the World Cup competition later this year.
With all that put aside, however, France will probably be the only team to challenge Ireland during the competition.
Their strengths, according to fans, are in them being accomplished young players and having a wide skill set. Their weaknesses are that they can get caught out on the counter and their mental game seems to disappear at times.
The only thing that the Italian team can claim is that they gained their first win (for the first time in six games), with a one-point victory over Wales. Although the try was spectacular.
It is a safe bet that Italy will be last in the competition yet again.
The biggest thing to watch from Italy this year is their influx of young players and to see how they will perform.
Their strengths, according to fans, are in their ability to constantly improve. Their weaknesses are the teams they play before the competition (such as Georgia).
Final thoughts on the competition
So with the competition around the corner, it is safe to say that Ireland are the safe bet to win the competition. France are a good bet to become runner-up. However, if you are looking for a dark horse in the competition Scotland seems to fill that role nicely.