Tuilagi injury makes Ashton favourite to top Six Nation try count
Manu Tuilagi would have been an absolute each-way steal at 25/1 to be the top tryscorer at the Six Nations had he been fit for England’s opener with Scotland, so instead teammate Chris Ashton may prove the best bet in this market.
Tuilagi has scored four tries in his last three internationals and would have fancied his chances here with England gaining a slight advantage through having three of their five games at home.
Interestingly, two of these are against the weakest opposition in the tournament and it is the home meeting at Twickenham with Italy that is of particular interest.
Only three of the joint winners of the top tryscorer accolade in the last nine instalments of the Six Nations dating back to 2003 have not faced Italy at home.
Aside from England, Scotland are the only other team to benefit from this fixture this time but they haven’t provided a Six Nations top tryscorer since 1999.
This suggests that sticking with an England player is the best bet and Tuilagi may still appeal to some as he could play in four games, assuming he returns as expected to play Ireland away in the second round of showdowns.
However, it makes sense to side with someone who will spend as much time as possible on the pitch and Ashton is one of England’s more proven tryscorers.
He does top the Six Nations top tryscorer betting at 8/1, but will arrive into the tournament full of confidence with Saracens beating Munster to the top of Pool A in the Heineken Cup.
Ashton also went over twice in their most recent success over Edinburgh, while adding a try in England’s last fixture before the Six Nations against New Zealand.
Another England option worthy of each-way consideration is Alex Goode at 50/1, assuming that he starts at full-back.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date