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Six Nations Championship 2020 Preview And Betting Tips

Six Nations Championship 2020 Preview And Betting Tips

The wait is over rugby fans as the heavyweights of Northern Hemisphere rugby pack down over the next six weeks for the coveted title of being crowned Six Nations Champions. Former internationals Nick Easter and Andy Goode join Genting Casino throughout the tournament beginning with their video preview to the Six Nations, which you can watch below, while expert tipsters Form Labs bring you their comprehensive betting preview, tips and odds for the much-anticipated tournament. Check back each week as we bring you all this exclusive content ahead of each round not to mention boosted odds and offers which will be available on our sportsbook.


 



 


SIX NATIONS OUTRIGHT ODDS AVAILABLE HERE


 


Six Nations Key Stats


Since 2000, a goalkicker has been the top points scorer with 10 of them being from the tournament winning side.


All 20 championships have had an outside back as the top try Scorer and 10 of the top try scorers have been from the tournament winning side.


Only four times has back-to-back Grand Slams been accomplished since 1910 (start of the Five Nations) - England (1913-14, 1923-24 & 1991-92) and France (1997-98). Never has this feat been achieved in the Six Nations era (since 2000).


 



 


Six Nations Intro


Wales head into the 126th edition of this tournament looking to be the first side to complete back to back Grand Slam victories since the extension from five to six nations, though without Warren Gatland at the helm they’ll have their work cut out. England and Scotland remain the only teams to have stuck with their head coaches following the World Cup, meaning there’s definitely a level of uncertainty surrounding this edition of the competition.


Unsurprisingly, the tournament following a World Cup has consistently produced a greater number of uncapped players throughout the squads, which has been a regular occurrence since the turn of the century. This would tend to imply less consistent performances across the board as the players get up to speed with international rugby and that can present a few teething problems. Indeed, all four Six Nations tournaments following a World Cup have produced Grand Slam champions since 2003, with each of those sides calling upon four or less uncapped players.


All winners have come at a price of 6/1 or shorter, and with England, Wales, France and Ireland all within that bracket, the outright really opens up. France have named a training squad with as many as 19 uncapped players as they begin their revolution under Fabien Galthie, while Italy will be looking to finish off the bottom for the first time in five years.


 


ENGLAND


Odds – 4/5


Ranking – 3rd


Last Year – 2nd (W3-D1-L1) 


(All records since 2000 in Six Nations)


France (A) – W3-L7


Scotland (A) – W5-D1-L4


Ireland (H) – W6-L4


Wales (H) – W8-L2


Italy (A) – W10-L0


Eddie Jones continues his tenure in the England camp, but with a slight reshuffle to his coaching staff with Steve Borthwick, Neal Hatley and Scott Wisemantel taking up roles elsewhere. However, the former remains in the set-up as a skills coach, while the others have been replaced by Simon Amor and recent World Cup winner Matt Proudfoot.


The Red Roses have won an impressive 11 of their 15 outings since the start of the 2019 Six Nations, with their only defeats coming at the Principality Stadium (twice) and in the World Cup final. That leaves the Aussie coach on a 76% winning ratio since he took over this team, though having opted for eight uncapped players for this years’ tournament it seems he’s building for France in four years’ time. Of course, he’s still selected 22 of the players that went to Japan, but with Billy Vunipola out with a broken arm again, it’ll no doubt be a weakened team to the one that earnt that runners-up medal in Yokohama in November.


 


 


IRELAND


Odds – 10/3


Ranking - 5th


Last Year – 3rd (W3-L2)


(All records since 2000 in Six Nations)


Scotland (H) – W9-L1


Wales (H) – W6-D1-L3


England (A) – W4-L6


Italy (H) – W10


France (A) – W3-D1-L6


After their 2018 Grand Slam success, it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing for Ireland. Of course, they went on to win six of their remaining seven matches that year, including an impressive 16-9 win over New Zealand, but it all went pear shaped in 2019. They finished third in last year’s edition of this competition having gone into it as short odds-on favourites, before an extremely underwhelming World Cup campaign which saw them lose to hosts Japan, as well as receiving a thumping by the All Blacks.


Defence coach Andy Farrell takes the reins from Joe Schmidt as the new head coach, while Mike Catt joins the attacking staff from Italy in a completely new look backroom. With five of the six nations competing parting with their coaches, we could see some slight issues early on and the Irish are not exempt from this. Johnny Sexton will captain his nation going into this tournament despite remaining an injury doubt for their opener, which is a worrying for Farrell considering Joey Carbery’s recent injury. He’s named five uncapped players in the squad as he (like many coaches at this stage) is looking to build for four years in the future.


 



 


WALES


Odds – 11/2


Ranking – 4th


Last Year – 1st (W5-L0)


(All records since 2000 in Six Nations)


Italy (H) – W9-D1


Ireland (A) – W3-D1-L6


France (H) – W5-L5


England (A) – W2-L8


Scotland (H) – W9-L1


Last year’s Grand Slam winners followed up that success with a semi-final run at the World Cup, losing out agonisingly to eventual champions South Africa, while they were ripped apart by the All Blacks in the third-place playoff. All in all, it was an extremely positive year for Welsh rugby, finishing with a record of W11-L5, but now they enter a new era as Warren Gatland is replaced by former Scarlets boss Wayne Pivac, as well as Shaun Edwards being replaced by both Byron Hayward and Sam Warburton.


The new Kiwi coach has been known for his attacking rugby, which he will no doubt bring to the international stage and install in his players as they prepare to rebuild for the next World Cup in four years’ time. He was a sensation in the Pro14, earning the Scarlets their first major trophy for 13 years in 2017, while he reached the semis of the Champions Cup in 2017/18.


Like the majority of the teams, they’ll likely have a few teething problems early on as they try and regroup their squad, but who better to face first up than the Italians? They’ve stuck with a similar contingent to the one that made the semis in Japan just three months ago and they’ll no doubt be a danger.


 



 


FRANCE


Odds – 6/1


Ranking – 7th


Last Year – 4th (W2-L3)


(All records since 2000 in Six Nations)


England (H) – (W7-L3)


Italy (H) – (W10-L0)


Wales (A) – (W5-L5)


Scotland (A) – (W7-L3)


Ireland (H) – (W6-D1-L3)


New coach Fabien Galthie has named as many as 19 uncapped players in his 42-man squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship. That leaves no room for the likes of Maxime Medard, Yoann Huget, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud and Rabah Slimani. An average age of 24 proves how inexperienced this set-up is and with new captain Charles Ollivon, they’re certainly building for the next World Cup in their home country.


That’s certainly a positive direction for them as Jacques Brunel wasn’t up to the challenge of man managing his players (the Edinburgh night out incident) or producing results (42% win ration), even if they did reach the quarter-finals in Japan. Perhaps the biggest win for Les Bleus though is the signing of defence coach Shaun Edwards. He helped take Wales to four Six Nations titles and two World Cup semi-finals and he’ll prove vital in their rebuilding scheme, but this tournament may come a tad too soon with the bigger picture certainly more in mind.


 



 


SCOTLAND


Odds – 28/1


Ranking – 9th


Last Year – 5th (W1-D1-L3)


(All records since 2000 in Six Nations)


Ireland (A) – (W1-L9)


England (H) – (W4-D1-L5)


Italy (A) – (W5-L5)


France (H) – (W3-L7)


Wales (A) – (W1-L9) 


Six uncapped players have been selected by Gregor Townsend for this years’ Six Nations campaign, while he’s still opted for a strong 23-man contingent of his World Cup camp. Stuart Hogg takes over the captaincy duties from hooker Stuart McInally, who’s also included in the squad.


Having had as many as 20 injuries for this competition 12 months ago we’re a little surprised to see them at a bigger price this time around under the same management. However, that’s reflective of their poor World Cup campaign when they bowed out at the group stage to Japan and Ireland, and Townsend will be grateful he still has his role.


To make things worse, his key player and creative spark Finn Russell has been dropped for the opening clash against Ireland after a ‘protocol breach’, which leaves them in a fairly desperate state. A record of W2-D1-L6 from their nine outings against tier one nations and Japan since the start of this tournament last year suggests they may struggle, whilst they remain incapable of picking up points at fellow Northern Hemisphere sides when excluding the Italians, going W1-D1-L40 since 2003.


 



 


ITALY


Odds – 500/1


Ranking – 12th


Last Year – 6th (W0-L5)


(All records since 2000 in Six Nations)


Wales (A) – D1-L9


France (A) – L10


Scotland (H) – W5-L5


Wales (A) – D1-L9


Ireland (A) – L10


England (H) – L10 


While over the years last place has been a tough one to call, Italy seem to be getting left behind by the rest of the pack. They’ve lost each of the past four Six Nations, while they’ve also lost their last 22 matches since beating Scotland at Murrayfield in 2015.


At a whopping 500/1 to win this, we can all but rule them out of the running. Having executed a full staff clear out after the World Cup, including head coach Conor O’Shea and Mike Catt, interim boss Franco Smith has a serious challenge on his hands to pull this Italy side out of the dust. Indeed, they lost nine of their 12 matches last year, only beating Russia, Canada and Namibia, while eight of their defeats came at the hands of fellow Six Nation sides and all by a margin of at least 10 points. The gap between the Azzurri and the rest seems slightly too wide to bridge yet again this year, and we’d be surprised if that 22 consecutive defeats didn’t become 27.



 


Six Nations Betting Tips


Although you’d think that going deep at the most recent World Cup would put you in good stead heading into the Six Nations, you’d in fact be wrong. All three teams this century that have reached the final of the marque event before heading into this tournament have failed to lift the title (England 2004, England 2008 & France 2012). Moreover, the top-ranked side going into the Championship has failed to lift it in eight of the last 11 Championships, England look far too short in the market as odds-on favourites for us. Not to mention, the recent Saracens scandal is likely to distract a few of the key figures.


Les Bleus present a hugely exciting prospect with the changes they’ve made in the dugout and on the pitch, but this tournament could come a little soon for them. As many as 19 uncapped players looks to be on the large side, as teams have generally tended to come up short when there’s been that kind of unbalance of experience within their squad. Indeed, no team has won since it became a six-sided tournament when selecting more than five debutants, while the average number from the winning sides since 2000 is just a mere two.


Ireland seem a fairly one-trick pony for us as their ideas towards the latter stages of Joe Schmidt’s tenure struggled to get results and Andy Farrell will likely stick to a fairly similar system. The Scots and Italy are just too weak on the road to challenge at this level and that leaves us with Wales under Wayne Pivac that we like the look of.


As aforementioned, all four Six Nations tournaments following a World Cup have produced Grand Slam champions since 2003, while all of England, Ireland and Wales themselves have retained their Six Nations titles since 2012 and we like the chances of the talented Pivac doing just that. In fact, both Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland for England and Wales respectively earnt titles within their first four months of being at the helm and with five straight victories being such a huge price, we’ll couple the outright with that.


0.5 Pts: Wales Grand Slam 14/1


2pts: Wales to win Six Nations at 11/2


 



 


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