Odds on Eddie to win Six Nations

If the odds are to be believed, it looks like Eddie Jones is set to start his England coaching career with a Six Nations trophy. Tank Lanning takes a gander.

Tank Lanning

The all new, and all confusing 18 team Super Rugby tournament may be a while off (the first games take place on the 26th of February), but we have less than a month to go to the unofficial start of the season here in the Southern Hemisphere – the Cape Town Tens, which takes place on the 5th and 6th of February.

It’s the weekend before the Varsity Cup starts, and the same weekend that the flagship of Northern Hemisphere rugby, the Six Nations, gets going.

You have to love the Six Nations, even if just for the sensational singing that takes place at most games, and that is after the anthems – notorious tear jerkers for both players and fans!

England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales fight it out for glory each year. Sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the current champions are Ireland.

The Six Nations is the successor to the Five Nations (1910–31 and 1947–99) which in turn succeeded the Home Nations Championship (1883–1909 and 1932–39) contested by England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which was the first ever international rugby tournament.

England and Wales are the joint record holders for outright wins of all three variations of the tournament, with 26 titles each, although Wales add to that record with 12 shared victories to England’s 10. Since the Six Nations era started in 2000, only Italy and Scotland have failed to win the title.

Unlike this year’s Super Rugby, the format is simple: each team plays every other team once, with home field advantage alternating from year to year. 2 points are awarded for a win, 1 for a draw and none for a loss. Being a stodgy lot, the bonus point system is not used.

If a team wins all its games, they are said to have won a ‘Grand Slam’. Victory by any Home Nation over the other three Home Nations is a ‘Triple Crown’.  The team that finishes last is said to have won the Wooden Spoon, while a team which loses all five matches is said to have been whitewashed.

To this year’s edition then … Always more fun with a few bob on it, and if the odds on the Sports Betting Dime site are to be believed, it seems that new England coach Eddie Jones is going to do the business.

Below the odds on the Championship winner:

England: 2/1

Ireland: 11/4

Wales: 11/4

France: 9/2

Scotland: 14/1

Italy: 250/1

Together with the latest news re Jonny May missing the entire tournament, together with the changing of the captaincy, I think Jones might take a while to get the best out of the men in white. Of the above, I would be most tempted to back Joe Schmidt’s Irish at 11/4, with Warren Gatland’s Wales team also perhaps worthy of a few of your hard earned Rands at the same odds.

And if keen to bet on the bottom end of the log, below the odds toWin” the Wooden Spoon:

Italy: 3/8

Scotland: 7/2

France: 14/1

Wales: 35/1

Ireland: 50/1

England: 50/1

Just zero faith in those poor Italians, it seems. While highly capable of causing the odd upset, the not so new comers to the tournament really have struggled with any sort of consistency.

And the Odds on any team completing the Grand Slam: 2/1. Not worthy of a punt at those odds. It’s going to be a hotly contested tournament this year.

In closing, then, a quick look at the first weekend’s fixtures:

Saturday 6 February

16h25 – France v Italy (Stade de France)

18h50 – Scotland v England (Murrayfield)

Sunday 7 February

17h00 – Ireland v Wales (Aviva Stadium)

My picks:

FRANCE to beat Italy by 12

ENGLAND to beat Scotland by 9

IRELAND to beat Wales by 7

Superbru Community picks:

FRANCE to beat Italy by 13

ENGLAND to beat Scotland by 7.5

IRELAND to beat Wales by 3

Collated odds:

FRANCE (1/8) to beat Italy (41/5)

ENGLAND (4/9) to beat Scotland (5/2)

IRELAND (7/12) to beat Wales (15/8)

Flower of Scotland on Saturday for the Calcutta Cup, and then Ireland’s Call to bring the curtain down on what should be a fantastic weekend of rugby.