A thrilling Six Nations 2015 heads for the final Saturday of competition with the possibility of four countries still being able to lift the trophy, though as the betting suggests it’s England who look to have the best chance.
Stuart Lancaster’s charges are afforded 8/13 favouritism, locked in a three-way tie at the top of the table with Ireland (7/4) and Wales (7/1), while England’s final opponents France are the 500/1 outsiders.
France’s chances are rated so slimly because Philippe Saint-Andre’s side require a win at Twickenham and both Wales and Ireland to lose against Italy and Scotland respectively to stand a chance of claiming the most unlikely of titles.
Wales’ resurgence since England left the Red Dragons scratching their heads in Cardiff on day one has been very impressive, culminating in their victory over Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in week four.
Despite that rousing 23-16 win at the Millennium Stadium containing one of the best defensive performances in recent memory, Wales’ points difference deficit to England could prove too large a gap to bridge, even with a trip to Rome in the offing.
Wales are +12, Ireland +33 and England +37. Warren Gatland’s men will be greatly encouraged by France thrashing the Azzurri 29-0 on Italian soil in their penultimate fixture, but it’s still a very tall order.
There’s value in Ireland for sure, especially in light of England’s final day meltdown in Cardiff which saw the title surrendered to their hosts on points difference two years previously.
However, for all Ireland’s experience and tactical nous, it’s a genuine concern that alongside France on four, Joe Schmidt’s side have the lowest try tally in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Scotland may have been beaten in all four games, but at home they’ve only lost out by three points on each occasion and overcame Ireland on their last Murrayfield visit two years ago.
England’s case is strong on many fronts. They are the only side to be playing at home and performing last of the three their task will be mapped out in front of them ahead of kick-off.
The Red Rose have defeated Les Bleus in four successive Six Nations Twickenham showdowns by a margin of at least eight points.
England have also plundered five more tries than any other side and have all of their key players fit and available for selection.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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