Six Nations Preview and Games

This coming weekend, the rugby population of the northern hemisphere goes nuts as the six nations begins when the French take on Italy in Paris, with changes in personnel, in management, and in players, it promises to be an exciting tournament. Lets look at each side and my predictions on places.

Six Nations Preview

This coming weekend, the rugby population of the northern hemisphere goes nuts as the six nations begins when the French take on Italy in Paris, with changes in personnel, in management, and in players, it promises to be an exciting tournament. Lets look at each side and my predictions on places.

6th – Italy

I would love for Italy to do better than last, but unfortunately I can’t see it. They are still not a complete team and rely too heavily on the leadership of Sergio Parisse. Could scrape a win against Scotland, and may give another side a scare. But I predict no wins and a big wooden spoon for the Azurri.

Player to Watch – Luca Morisi The 21 Year old centre is in fine form this season and fully deserves his call up to the senior squad. Expect him to make a start against the French and turn some heads. Definitely one for the future.

Six Nations Preview Luca Morisi

5th – Scotland

Scotland have a point to prove after their abysmal world cup campaign, and they have the best possible chance to turn over a new look England side in their first game at Murrayfield. It will be interesting to see who Andy Robinson selects to face the red rose. With Ross Ford being handed the captaincy there seems to be no room for previous captain Alistair Kellock. Will Robinson decide to put more faith in the Edinburgh players he has in the squad after their great performances in the Heineken cup, or mix things up even further? Only time will tell. Will beat the Italians and may surprise the Irish but that will be the lot.

Player to watch – Lee Jones The Edinburgh wing is on fire at the moment, and has ripped a few defences apart already this season. I expect him to take a wing berth and possibly embarrass Chris Ashton.

Six Nations Preview Lee Jones

4th – Ireland

The top 4 are going to be very close this year. But I think Ireland will be at the bottom of them. For the first time in the competitions 11 year history the Emerald Isle will be without the mercurial Brian O’Driscoll, which leaves a massive hole in the Irish midfield. Coach Declan Kidney will probably choose Keith Earls to fill the void. But his defensive frailties have been exposed by Manu Tuilagi and others in recent years so it could be a bad move. A tight win against the Italians and Scottish and possibly a win over the French. But will remain in fourth. Kidney has made no changes to the squad that bombed out of the world cup – and I think that is a major mistake.

Player to watch – None There are no new faces in the Irish squad.

3rd – France

New coach Phillipe Saint-Andre will want to banish the off-field issues surrounding the last world cup campaign under previous coach Marc Lievremont. However, he will be looking to build on an impressive display that almost won them the Webb Ellis Trophy. Much will rely on the form of Captain Thierry Dusatoir and Imanol Harrinordoquay, both are amazing footballers and have the ability to dominate a game. However I think a Welsh side out for revenge and a youthful England will come out on top.

Player to watch – Wesley Fofana The centre is performing well for Clermont, and would be an ideal partner for his club team mate Aurélien Rougerie.

Six Nations Preview Wesley Fofana

2nd – England

Possibly being slightly biased, but I am hoping that this new look England will upset a few sides. They will turn up to Murrayfield with no arrogance and no divine right to win a game, they will be hungry to win. Interim head coach Stuart Lancaster named Halequins Flanker Chris Robshaw the successor to Lewis Moody as captain on Monday, this was rumoured to be Tom Wood but a toe injury has ruled him out the first 2 weeks of the tournament. However Lancaster believes many other players on the pitch should be leaders as well. Key men will be Ben Youngs and Toby Flood, the Leicester duo need to get the forwards working and the backline moving forward.

Player to Watch – Owen Farrell The son of the Rugby League great Andy Farrell is starting to step out his fathers massive shadow and is proving that he is the real deal. Seen currently as the long term option at number 10 for country, he has been operating outside compatriot Charlie Hodgson at 12 for club side Saracens. I would expect Lancaster to play Farrell at 12 to give him more time to make decisions.

Six Nations Preview Owen Farrell

1st – Wales

Captain Sam Warburton and his Welsh side will be firing on all cylinders after their exit at the semi finals of the world cup after promising so much. Warburton in particular will be looking to put behind him the red card that put them at a disadvantage against the French. I don’t expect them to take a grand slam, they could be beaten by an Irish side looking to avenge their defeat from the world cup. But they will score enough points to take it. Without Shane Williams in the side they will have to look to George North to start to achieve his potential as a devastating finisher.

Player to Watch – Harry Robinson The Rookie Blues wing is probably too young to get the nod over Leigh Halfpenny or George North, but is a very exciting prospect for the future, hopefully if he gets a chance we can see his class on the big stage.

Six Nations Preview Harry Robinson

If you are a smartphone owner, check out the RBS Six Nations app which is always good. Including live commentry and video highlights. And of course, come and give us some banter / stick on twitter or Facebook.

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