Wales big favourites for 2013 Six Nations after Grand Slam win
Warren Gatland’s men claimed the Grand Slam with a hard-fought win over France
Wales have been installed as the 2/1 favourites for the 2013 Six Nations following their Grand Slam heroics at the weekend.
Warren Gatland’s side battered their way to a 16-9 win against France on Saturday to claim their third Grand Slam in eight years with a team blessed with thrilling young players and a wealth of experience in the forwards.
Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones and Ryan Jones had all won two Grand Slams prior to Saturday’s win, while Matthew Rees bagged a clean sweep in 2008.
They provided an incredibly strong foundation for Wales to build on, with the young George North, Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny providing the attacking flair in the backs.
There is plenty for Wales to be optimistic about for the future and if these players are able to stay fit, then there is no reason to think Wales can’t become the first team since France in 2007 to retain their title at 2/1.
However, the biggest obstacle Wales may have to overcome next season could be the resurgent England.
Stuart Lancaster has got his young side playing some excellent rugby and if the likes of Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi continue to progress then England may well be worth a punt at 11/4 to reclaim the title they won in 2011.
Meanwhile, France are the third favourites at 3/1 but will have to make significant improvements over the next 12 months if they are to be genuine contenders.
There’s no doubting they have the individuals to mount a serious challenge but with the 2012 championship yielding some incredibly disappointing performances against Wales, England and Ireland, they have plenty to work on.
Ireland are out at 7/2 to win the championship, Scotland are 20/1, while Italy are a massive 100/1 to win their first ever Six Nations title.