Ireland face must-win clash as Six Nations enters crunch week

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So far this year’s Six Nations has had the feeling that it’s building up to a crescendo, and now that time has come with a scintillating weekend of rugby in store for us.

Ireland head to Wales tonight in a match they really must win, otherwise they’ll leave the door open for England.

But boasting a 17-9 head-to-head record versus the Dragons since 1995 – including victory in eight of their last 11 trips to Cardiff – Ireland have every right to be confident of victory.

Eddie Jones’ men then host Scotland in the Calcutta Cup on Saturday, and victory for the Red Rose, coupled with defeat for Ireland, would secure a second successive championship.

But wins for Ireland and England would take us to a thrilling showdown at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next weekend – St Patricks’ weekend.

And our odds suggest that’s exactly what will happen.

Ireland are 8/13 favourites for victory at the Millennium Stadium, but at 6/4 Wales must be respected, especially on home soil.

England meanwhile, are 1/5 to see off the Tartan Army, but plenty will fancy Vern Cotter’s rejuvenated side for a surprise at 4/1.

That said, Scotland haven’t won at Twickenham for over 30 years.

The third clash of the weekend sees Italy host France for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy.

Our specials for a thrilling weekend of egg chasing include 6/5 on Ireland, England and France to win.

And we’re 5/6 on over 136.5 points being scored across the three games.

Meanwhile, ahead of the fourth round of matches, England are 4/9 to win the Championship, with Ireland next up at 5/2.

And it says much about Scotland’s return to form that they’re still in the hunt, albeit just, at 9s.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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