SO, the Six Nations is upon us again – and what a start it is for England.
Tomorrow’s match in Paris really is ‘Le Crunch’ but, just as France will hold no fears for England, likewise the French will be gunning for it.
The home side have lost their talisman, Thierry Dusatoir, to injury but that aside, they will still generate a lot of power.
That battle in the scrummage will go a long way to deciding who will win the match.
When you look at this year’s tournament, it really is one of the tightest we have ever had.
Away wins could prove the difference because all the main contenders are strong at home.
Wales, the champions for the last two years, have got as good a chance as any, while France will beat anybody at home and both Ireland and England went very close against the All Blacks during the November internationals.
England have a settled pack and pace to burn in the backs – but and it’s a tough call it’s a shame they are playing away in Paris first up.
Logic suggests England have a very good chance of winning.
The French Top 14 league is not played at anything like Test pace, a lot of those games are pedestrian, but I am constantly amazed that the French national team can turn up that pace at Test level.
If I was to put my neck on the line, I would say that it might well be a home win tomorrow.
As for the Championship itself, I can see the title being won without a Grand Slam this year.
England have Wales and Ireland at home and you would expect them to win those ones as well as Scotland and Italy away.
I don’t see Wales making history by winning it three years on the trot so I see England as finishing on top.
I probably have the French second, followed by Wales and Ireland, with Scotland and Italy battling it out for the Wooden Spoon again.
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