After a short break, the Six Nations returns and things are hotting up as we reach the midway point. England may still feel they have a point to prove despite a resounding 41-18 victory over Italy a fortnight ago. Meanwhile, France will hope to tighten their grip on the top spot this weekend when they host Scotland. We take a look ahead to the latest round of Six Nations fixtures and draw attention to the odds as well as dissect the injury news.
Wales v England is the pick of the games at the Principality Stadium on Saturday. With an unblemished record to date following hard-fought wins over Ireland and Scotland in the first couple of rounds, Wales will be keen to keep their Grand Slam dream intact. For Wayne Pivac, his side has been in transition. After recording just three Test wins from 10 appearances last year, they will be desperate to improve on their fifth-place finish in last year’s edition of the Six Nations.
Wales v England: Which way are the markets leaning?
- Wales to beat England @9/5 or 2.8 with Casumo
- England to beat Wales @21/50 or 1.42 with Casumo
- Wales handicap +5.5 @22/25 or 1.88 with Casumo
England can ill afford any more slip-ups if they are to defend their Six Nations crown. Jonny May recaptured his best form against Italy, and he scored a stunning try with an acrobatic diving finish in the corner. Although May’s team-mate George Ford thinks England ‘left a few points out there’ against the Azzurri, Eddie Jones’ charges looked more like their old selves. Against Italy, they were more fluid and inventive going forward. Wales, on the other hand, nearly came unstuck against Scotland two weeks ago, but Louis Rees-Zammit stole in to clinch a dramatic victory at Murrayfield.
Rees-Zammit could be a thorn in England’s side, and he is currently the Six Nations leading try scorer with three to his name. And on England’s last visit to Cardiff, they surrendered a 10-3 lead and finally succumbed to a 13-21 defeat. England will have to get a result without flanker Jack Willis who suffered a gruesome-looking knee injury against Italy that could keep him sidelined for the rest of the season. From a Welsh perspective, Leigh Halfpenny is a doubt after he was taken off against the Scots with a head injury.
France v Scotland: Called off!
France v Scotland has been postponed due to the number of Covid-19 cases in the France cap. We will update our blog with more news as it comes in.
Italy v Ireland: The thoughts of both camps
Ireland will be desperate to ignite their Six Nations campaign with a victory against Italy on Saturday. Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and James Ryan are all in line to return. Ireland coach Andy Farrell expects Ireland to ‘show some character’ and win their remaining three matches of the tournament. Italy have lost their last 29 Test matches in a row and full-back Jacopo Trulla, who made his Six Nations debut against France in Round One, insists the Azzurri have to do better to ‘reap the fruits of their work’. Ireland are at a very short 1/25 to vanquish Italy.