Six Nations reaches pivotal weekend

This Six Nations returns this weekend having taken a well deserved breather last week, with teams again set to battle it out for victories over their Northern hemisphere rivals.

Ireland

It is hard to look anywhere else for the tie of the round, as England host Wales at Twickenham on Saturday evening in what could well be the title decider.

Having started confidently in their new era under Eddie Jones, England will be looking to banish painful memories of their World Cup exit to their neighbours, which eventually contributed to their exit at the group stage. For Wales, Warren Gatland’s side will be looking to build upon recent victories against Scotland and France.

There is huge expectation from both sides heading into the fixture, with no clear favourite revealing themselves this time around. Unlike in the 1970’s when Wales consistently defeated their rivals or during England’s glory years under Sir Clive Woodward, this match is delicately balanced, with Wales certainly not fearing a trip behind enemy lines.

A potential return for England centre Manu Tuilagi after a 15 month international absence through injury could well provide the home side with an added boost going into the tie, although he looks set to be named amongst the replacements.

Elsewhere on this Six Nations weekend, Ireland host Italy in Dublin hoping to recover from a defeat to England last time around, whilst a Scotland side still bouncing from a first Six Nations victory in two years, host a France team struggling for consistency under Guy Noves.

With this weeks fixtures looking too tight to call, compare the odds on latest events and sit back and enjoy what is sure to be a treat for rugby fans. Wales’ superior experience in such situations may well prove to be the difference when bookmakers compare odds. However, with many players enjoying a rest last week, they will certainly be raring to go come game time.

With Southern hemisphere coaches dominating the Six Nations this year, it remains to be seen who will come out on top. With two Kiwi’s leading Scotland and Wales, and an Aussie in charge of England, it is perhaps a worrying time for home grown coaches in terms of their potential progression to the international arena.

It certainly adds another dimension to the Six Nations Championship this year however, as it remains to be seen who will be the most pleased come the end of the tournament.

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