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Nic Ladds 2nd Feb 2009 - 16:11

Six Nations top try scorer preview

The Six Nations top try scorer market is one of the most exciting markets around. Any number of players could land the honour and while the market leaders are primarily wingers, it is not necessarily the wide men that grab all the glory.

Whilst wingers always seem to fair well they are usually appropriately short and here we will see if there is any value to be had in any of the longer priced options.

Shane Williams is unsurprisingly favourite at odds of 11/2. The Welsh winger is one of the best finishers in the world; if Wales are going to justify their favouritism tags then he will have to contribute his fair share.

Williams is lightning fast and you can be sure he will be involved in nearly all of Wales' best attacking plays.

He top scored last time with six tries and you can be sure he will be thereabouts again but he is under half the price of his nearest rival which suggests there could be some juicier prices to be had about some of his rivals.

At 12/1 in the betting is Julien Malzieu who won his first French cap at the start of last year and has gone from strength to strength.

The young winger will be at the focal point of French attacks and will no doubt chip in with his fair share of tries.

England's Paul Sackey is also available at odds of 12/1. The Wasps' winger was amongst the leading try scorers at the 2008 Six Nations and is a key figure in England's quest for glory.

Other possible English prospects vying for the top try scorer berth include winger Ugo Monye at 16/1 and 66/1 shot Danny Cipriani, who if playing up to his best will be a handful for any team and is a much more attacking player than Toby Flood.

However it looks like Flood may get the nod ahead of Cipriani and Flood can be backed at 33/1 in the betting.

At odds of 16/1 Tommy Bowe has been in consistently excellent form since his return from injury in 2007 and has become a regular in Ireland's line-up throughout 2008.

He has been a staple in Ospreys' campaign so far this season. The Irish forwards are not quite as strong as some of their rivals so they will rely on their world-class back line to produce the goods which should give Bowe a lot of ammunition to get himself over the line.

Lee Byrne for Wales is a versatile member of the squad who can play in several different positions and if he is fielded on the wing then he can be in the shake up at 20/1.

Gavin Henson is also an interesting prospect having been in excellent scoring form for the Ospreys recently and is big at 66/1.

He was in the top three in the 2008 tournament and there is no reason why he should not put in another bold showing for tournament favourites Wales.

At bigger prices, as yet uncapped Scotland winger Thom Evans makes some appeal should he start.

If both the Lamont brothers are fit then his chances may become limited but he has had an excellent season for the Glasgow Warriors.

He is currently top try scorer in the Magners League and should he get to start then he looks a potential superstar and could be Scotland's main try provider at odds of 25/1.

At 28/1 in the betting Yannick Jauzion of France makes some appeal. He has chipped in with his fair share domestically and is probably the French sides' most instrumental player.

Shane Horgan at odds of 50/1 and Ronan O'Gara at 66/1 in the betting look big prices.

Horgan topped the try scoring charts in 2006 while O'Gara was the leading man in 2007. A huge amount depends on Ireland's overall performance.

If they are going to win then these two could play a huge part in their charge for the title with O'Gara in particular pulling all the strings at the back making 66/1 look a cracking each way bet paying down to fourth place.

Whilst Italy have little chance of winning the competition, Mirco Bergamasco has long been one of their key players and was joint top try scorer in 2006.

Bergamasco is at the heart of Italy's play and while they will be competing with Scotland for the wooden spoon, the Italians are more than capable of getting points on the board and this versatile player will no doubt be on the score sheet in a couple of the games, making the 80/1 on offer look a big price.

Recommendations:
Julien Malzieu - 12/1
Ronan O'Gara - 66/1
Mirco Bergamasco - 80/1

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