By News Team
Last Updated: 12th March 2021
While England are all but out of the running for the 2021 Six Nations title at 100/1 after an under-par campaign, their clash with France on Saturday remains the pick of this weekend’s games.
A victory for England would help 4/5 favourites Wales get one hand on the trophy, assuming the Welsh overcome Italy earlier in the day.
Sunday sees Ireland, whose hopes of making it four Six Nations crowns in eight years have already practically vanished, take on Scotland, who are still in with a chance at 11/1 to finish top of the pile.
With a cracking weekend of rugby lined up, we preview the action.
Italy v Wales – Saturday, 14:15
2021 has not been an encouraging year for perennial underdogs Italy, losing by 23, 38 and 40 points respectively in their three games so far. It doesn’t get any easier on Saturday when they welcome a Wales team who will have their tales up after downing the English last time out. The handicap mark for this one is set at 25 in favour of the Welsh, who can be backed at Evens to win by bigger than that margin. Italy are an unfancied 10/1 to record their first win of the series, with Wales 1/33 for the victory.
England v France – Saturday, 16:45
Le Crunch rarely fails to deliver, and with England playing for pride against a France side still in the hunt for the title, it should be a great spectacle. Eddie Jones’ men will be wounded after their defeat to Wales, but their was plenty for England to take away from that game. But for spells of ill-discipline and a few questionable decisions by the officials, the Red Rose dominated good spells of the match but didn’t get the rub of the green.
If not too dispirited, the 11/10 on England with a -2 point handicap start might be a bit generous. France, 10/11 to win without the handicap, haven’t beaten England at Twickenham in the Six Nations since 2005, and though there’s undoubtedly an opportunity to get one on the board tomorrow, it’s still a big ask. England are the 4/5 favourites for the win.
Scotland v Ireland – Sunday, 15:00
Marauding ball carriers, free flowing off-loads, verve in the backline and a threatening back three have made Scotland arguably the best team to watch this series. Most other years and you’d laugh if only offered 5/4 to beat Ireland, but that looks a very fair price for Sunday’s clash, while anyone who backed Scotland to beat the Irish on their last four meetings at Murrayfield will have collected a handsome return twice.
In Ireland’s favour, they have the steady boot of Johnny Sexton, who’s slotted home all 11 kicks at goal this year, though Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg tops the series table for defenders beaten and winger Duhan van der Merwe is about the best finisher on the British Isles. This should be a thriller, with Ireland the 4/6 favourites.