Six Nations Key Stats
- The winner of the Six Nations has finished either first (x2) or second (x4) the previous season, in each of the last six editions of the tournament – Last year England & France finished 1st & 2nd respectively.
- The longest priced winner of the tournament over the last seven years has been Ireland at 6.4.
- Since 2000, a goalkicker has been the top points scorer in all 21 editions of the tournament, with 10 being from the tournament winning side.
- 20 of the 21 Six Nations Championships have had an outside back as the top try scorer, with 10 being from the tournament winning side.
Six Nations 2021 Preview
It’s a rather strange time for rugby at the minute with both European cup competitions being suspended recently for two weeks due to the French government cracking down on their travelling guidelines.
It doesn’t look like the pandemic will disrupt this tournament too much though, but without crowds, we may see an increase in the number of victories on the road.
Usually when a Six Nations tournament lies just before a Lions tour a lot is on the line for the countries and players, and although there’s a chance that that tour won’t go ahead, we somewhat doubt it’ll take away from the spectacle.
Unlike previous years, we’ve had an Autumn tournament between the Six Nations sides plus both Fiji and Georgia, which replaced the usual Autumn Internationals against the southern hemisphere sides, and that certainly gives us a better guide as to who might come out on top over the next couple of months.
Unsurprisingly, it was both tournament favourites England and France that reached the final of that competition, and they head here the most likely to succeeded yet again.
Six Nations Outright Winner Betting Odds
England – 11/10 (Ranked 2nd in the World)
(All home/away records since 2000 in Six Nations)
Scotland (H) – W9-D1-L0
Italy (H) – W10-L0
Wales (A) – W5-L5
France (H) – W9-L1
Ireland (A) – W3-L7
The defending champions, England, will be looking to win back-to-back Six Nations titles for the second time since 2016, and under Eddie Jones, you certainly wouldn’t put it past the tournament favourites.
They won the Autumn Nations Cup in extra-time against France, as their only two defeats since September 2019 came in Paris and the World Cup final against South Africa (W12-D1-L2).
The last six editions of this tournament with their current home and away fixture list on the odd years have seen them come either first or second since 2009, and that will likely continue.
Opening rounds against the two competition outsiders, Scotland and Italy, will likely build confidence within the camp, with their crunch match and possible tournament decider at Twickenham on 13th March against France.
France – 5/2 (Ranked 4th in the World)
Italy (A) – W8-L2
Ireland (A) – W3-D1-L6
Scotland (H) – W10-L0
England (A) – W1-L9
Wales (H) – W5-L5
France have been truly outstanding since Fabien Galthie took the reins. A record of W8-D1-L1 over 80 minutes speaks for itself, and considering that sole defeat came following a first-half red card to prop Mohamed Haouas at Murrayfield nearly 12 months ago, while they drew in that Autumn Nations Cup final at Twickenham with a heavily rotated outfit, they look dangerous.
That run also includes a notable victory over England the last time they faced off with full strength teams in Paris, going in at the break 17-0 up.
Les Bleus will have to make do without the services of fly-half Romain Ntamack for the start of the tournament, including a tough trip to Dublin, but he’ll make a return for the latter stages and that all-important Red Roses fixture.
Of course, they’ll be more than conscious of the fact it’s been over a decade since they last lifted the title, but this could be their best chance in years.
Ireland – 7/2 (Ranked 5th in the World)
Wales (A) – W5-L5
France (H) – W6-D1-L3
Italy (A) – W9-L1
Scotland (A) – W7-L3
England (H) – W7-L3
Ireland haven’t quite found their form of old since the changeover of management from Joe Schmidt to Andy Farrell.
They did finish third in the delayed 2020 edition of the Six Nations, and certainly remain the best side after the two shorter priced front runners.
They proved that when beating Wales (32-9) and Scotland (31-16) in the recent Autumn Nations Cup, and their price is warranted.
Their only notable absentee will be Jacob Stockdale, and given they’ve come in the top three now for seven straight seasons, they should still be amongst it with the quality they possess.
Wales – 16/1 (Ranked 9th in the World)
Ireland (H) – W5- L5
Scotland (A) – W6-D1-L3
England (H) – W5-L5
Italy (A) – W8-L2
France (A) – W5-L5
A significant improvement will be expected by the Welsh fans from this squad. A win percentage of just 30% from their 10 fixtures against other nations under Wayne Pivac is well below par, especially considering their only three victories under him have come against Italy (twice) and Georgia.
They’re the highest price to lift the title than any of the previous seven editions of the tournament, and that’s probably for good reason.
Perhaps the only positive to come from the Welsh camp will be their return to the Principality Stadium after they were forced to play some of their more recent matches at Parc y Scarlets, but with no crowds, it’s yet to be seen how much difference that will make.
Their fixture with Ireland in round one will give us a much better idea of what to expect from the Welsh this tournament, and should their odds-on favourite visitors get the better of them in that one, Scotland might fancy their chances at Murrayfield the following weekend.
Scotland – 25/1 (Ranked 7th in the World)
England (A) – W0-D1-L9
Wales (H) – W3-D1-L6
France (A) – W0-L10
Ireland (H) – W3-L7
Italy (H) – W8-L2
Scotland, due to their flamboyant and expansive rugby, represents another exciting prospect for this years’ Six Nations.
They finished in fourth place in the 2020 edition of the tournament after victories over France, Wales and Italy, and they will want to improve on that again.
Eight players that did not feature in their Autumn Nations campaign are added to the squad, with the most exciting of those being Bath centre, Cameron Redpath.
That is a position they’ve struggled with in recent seasons, and he could well be the key to their success.
A tough fixture in round one at Twickenham isn’t exactly the sort of they’d have hoped for, but nonetheless, they proved they can stick it to the English when drawing in their last meeting at the ‘home of rugby’ in 2019.
They’ll look to build on that opening performance and take on a vulnerable Welsh outfit at Murrayfield the following weekend. They’ll be conscious of the fact they have trips to both the two tournament favourites (England & France) across their opening three clashes, but that may well bring out the best in them.
Italy – 750/1 (Ranked 14th in the World)
France (H) – W2-L8
England (A) – W0-L10
Ireland (H) – W1-L9
Wales (H) – W2-L8
Scotland (A) – W2-L8
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 finished last in each of the past five Six Nations tournament, while they’ve also lost their last 27 matches in this competition since beating Scotland at Murrayfield in 2015.
If we include their three straight defeats at Autumn Nations Cup to the Scots, France and Wales, it becomes tough to make a case for them to avoid yet another wooden spoon.
Franco Smith’s job will come under pressure and their aim will be to put an end to that torrid winless run.
Six Nations 2021 Betting Tips
No team benefits more from the empty stadiums than France in our eyes. Trips to Aviva Stadium and Twickenham would normally be monumental tasks to try and come away with victories from, and considering neither of those sides will have the illustrious 16th man on their side, they look the profitable angle at this years’ Six Nations competition.
Moreover, England are in a slightly obscure situation in that they’re picking six players from their domestic second division side, Saracens, and although they’re all extremely talented players, they’ll be lacking competitive minutes.
Another team that will benefit from having no crowds will be Scotland. They’ve gone just W2-D1-L33 on the road since the start of 2003 in this tournament and the recent Autumn Nations Cup when excluding Italy.
That compares to W12-D1-L23 against similar teams on home turf, with half those victories coming in their most recent nine at Murrayfield.
Six wins from the Scots’ last eight outings at all venues is the best run over an eight-game period they’ve managed this century, and reminiscent of their seven wins from nine outings between November 2016 and June 2017, coming fourth during that Six Nations.
They entered that tournament at 25/1 to lift the title, and at a similar price and in what we’d describe as their best chance of lifting the title since winning the Five Nations in 1999, it has to be worth getting behind them in one way or another.
The best angle looks to be in backing them to finish in the top four again. Wales look to be their biggest challengers for that fourth place, and considering the Scots are currently ranked above their old rivals, it looks the bet of the tournament.