RBS 6 NATIONS – ROUND 1 PREVIEWS

m6n17

RBS 6 NATIONS – ROUND 1 PREVIEWS

Welcome to the 18th edition of the RBS 6 Nations with England attempting to be the first side ever to achieve back-to-back grand slams since the tournament was expanded.

The opening fixture of the latest edition of rugby’s greatest Championship is in Edinburgh for the first time ever in the RBS 6 Nations era, where the home side will be looking to make a winning start to the tournament, lamentably an all too rare occurrence. Ireland will be all out to take a 3rd title in four years.

Attention then switches to Twickenham with England not only defending their 2016 grand slam but also aiming for a new England record of 15 successive test victories. France will be anxious to spoil the party and set themselves off towards a first title since 2010.

The opening round concludes in Rome on Sunday with Italy hoping to make a great start to Conor O’Shea’s first RBS 6 Nations campaign, whilst Wales will be all out to keep their own winning run going to add to their own list of titles, the last of which was in 2013.

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m6n17draw

ROUND 1: MATCH PREVIEWS

scoire1010

STATS & FACTS

  • Scotland have lost only once since the end of last season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, and that by a single point to Australia at BT Murrayfield in November.
  • The Scots won their most recent match at BT Murrayfield in the RBS 6 Nations, against France in round 4 last season, and have not won successive matches at the venue in the Championship since 2013.
  • Scotland have begun with a victory on the opening round only once since the Championship expanded to six nations – beating France in Edinburgh in 2006.
  • Ireland have lost just one of their last four test matches: 9-21 to New Zealand in Dublin on 19 November.
  • The Irishmen have not won away from home in the RBS 6 Nations since they last visited Edinburgh in round 5, 2015.
  • Ireland have lost their opening encounter in the Championship just once since 2004: 21-23 at home to Wales in 2012.
  • Ireland have won their last four test matches against Scotland with the Scots most recent victory being 12-8 at BT Murrayfield in 2013.

LAST YEAR IN DETAIL
19 MARCH 2016 (Round 5) at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
IRELAND (21) 35, SCOTLAND (13) 25
Ireland: 15 Simon Zebo; 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Keith Earls (1T); 10 Johnny Sexton (3C, 3P), 9 Conor Murray (1T); 1 Jack McGrath, 2 Rory Best, 3 Mike Ross, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Devin Toner (1T), 6 CJ Stander (1T), 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 8 Jamie Heaslip
Bench: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Nathan White, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: none
Replacements used: Nathan White for Mike Ross (62), Richardt Strauss for Rory Best (67), Cian Healy for Jack McGrath (67), Ultan Dillane for Donnacha Ryan (68), Rhys Ruddock for Tommy O’Donnell (68), Eoin Reddan for Conor Murray (78), Fergus McFadden for Andrew Trimble (78)
Tries: 4 – Stander, Earls, Murray, Toner Kicking: Sexton (3/4 Con, 3/4 Pen)

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (1T); 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Alex Dunbar (1T), 11 Tim Visser; 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (2C, 2P); 1 Alasdair Dickinson, 2 Ross Ford, 3 WP Nel, 4 Richie Gray (1T), 5 Tim Swinson, 6 John Barclay, 7 John Hardie, 8 Ryan Wilson
Bench: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Moray Low, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont
Test debuts: Rory Sutherland RBS 6 Nations debuts: Rory Sutherland

Replacements used: Stuart McInally for Ross Ford (50), Josh Strauss for John Hardie (52), Peter Horne for Duncan Weir (62), Rob Harley for Tim Swinson (62), Rory Sutherland for Alasdair Dickinson (66), Moray Low for WP Nel (67), Sean Lamont for Tim Visser (68)

Tries: 3 – Hogg, Gray, Dunbar Kicking: Laidlaw (2/3 Con, 2/2 Pen)
Scoring sequence: 6’ Sexton (P) 3-0, 13’ Sexton (P) 6-0, 15’ Laidlaw (P) 6-3, 18’ Sexton (P) 9-3, 20’ Hogg (T) 9-8, 21’ Laidlaw (C) 9-10, 28’ Stander (T) 14-10,
29’ Sexton (C) 16-10, 31’ Earls (T) 21-10, 41’ Laidlaw (P) 21-13, 48’ Murray (T) 26-13, 50’ Sexton (C) 28-13, 56’ Gray (T) 28-18, 56’ Laidlaw (C) 28-20, 69’ Toner
(T) 33-20, 69’ Sexton (C) 35-20, 78’ Dunbar (T) 35-25

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France) Attendance: 51,700 RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match: Jamie Heaslip


engfra1010

STATS & FACTS

  • England have won their last fourteen test matches since Australia beat them during the Rugby World Cup 2015, equalling their best ever run set in 2002-2003.
  • England have not lost at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations since Wales were the visitors in round 3, 2012, a run off eleven successive victories, another win would equal their best ever home sequence in the history of the Championship set between 1911-1921.
  • England have lost a round 1 RBS 6 Nations encounter just once in the last eight seasons, to France in Paris in 2014.
  • France have won only two of their last eight test matches, in Argentina in June and against Samoa in Toulouse in November.
  • The Frenchmen have won only once away from home in the RBS 6 Nations since 2014: 29-0 against Italy in Rome in round 4, 2015.
  • France have lost only once in round 1 since 2009, to Italy in Rome in 2013.
  • England have lost only one of their last four encounters with the French: 20-25 in a World Cup warm up game in Paris in 2015.
  • France have beaten England just once at Twickenham in the Championship since 1997, and that was by a single point in 2005.

LAST YEAR IN DETAIL
19 MARCH 2016 (Round 5) at Stade de France, Paris
FRANCE (12) 21, ENGLAND (17) 31
France: 15 Scott Spedding; 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Virimi Vakatawa; 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Maxime Machenaud (7P); 1 Jefferson Poirot, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 8 Loann Goujon
Bench: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Xavier Chiocci, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Wenceslas Lauret, 21 Sebastien Bezy, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Maxime Medard
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: Xavier Chiocci

Replacements used: Jules Plisson for Francois Trinh-Duc (13), Uini Atonio for Jefferson Poirot (57), Xavier Chiocci for Rabah Slimani (57), Paul Jedrasiak for Alexandre Flanquart (57), Camille Chat for Guilhem Guirado (66), Maxime Medard for Maxime Mermoz (69), Wenceslas Lauret for Loann Goujon (69), Sebastien Bezy for Maxime Machenaud (75), Jefferson Poirot for Bernard Le Roux (79)
Tries – none, Kicking – Machenaud (7/7 Pen)

England: 15 Mike Brown; 14 Anthony Watson (1T), 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jack Nowell; 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care (1T); 1 Mako
Vunipola, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole (1T), 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Chris Robshaw, 7 James Haskell, 8 Billy Vunipola
Bench: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Manu Tuilagi, 23 Elliot Daly
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: None

Replacements used: Joe Marler for Mako Vunipola (40), Ben Youngs for Danny Care (43), Luke Cowan-Dickie for Dylan Hartley (67), Jack Clifford for Chris Robshaw (75).
Tries – 3 – Care, Cole, Watson Kicking: Farrell (2/3 Con, 4/5 Pen) Ford (0/2 DG)

Scoring sequence: 3’ Machenaud (P) 3-0, 5’ Farrell (P) 3-3, 12’ Care (T) 3-8, 13’ Farrell (C) 3-10, 16’ Machenaud (P) 6-10, 20’ Cole (T) 6-15, 21’ Farrell (C) 6-17, 44’ Machenaud (P) 9-17, 40’ Machenaud (P) 12-17, 44’ Machenaud (P) 15-17, 45’ Farrell (P) 15-20, 51’ Machenaud (P) 18-20, 56’ Watson (T) 18-25, 59’ Machenaud (P) 21-25, 72’ Farrell (P) 21-28, 78’ Farrell (P) 21-31

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales) Attendance: 78,750 RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match: Billy Vunipola


itawal1010

STATS & FACTS

  • Italy have won three of their last five test matches, including a famous first ever victory over South Africa.
  • Italy’s most recent victory in the RBS 6 Nations was against Scotland in Edinburgh in round 3, 2015.
  • Italy have not been victorious at Stadio Olimpico since beating Ireland there in round 5, 2013.
  • Wales have won their last three test matches since tripping up 8-32 to the Wallabies in Cardiff in November.
  • Wales have lost just one of their last nine RBS 6 Nations encounters: 21-25 to England at Twickenham in round 4 last year.
  • Wales are winless in their last two away games in the RBS 6 Nations, they have not gone three successive games on the road without a win in the tournament since 2007.
  • Wales have won their last ten matches against Italy since their 20-23 reversal at Stadio Flaminio in the Championship in 2007.

LAST YEAR IN DETAIL
19 MARCH 2016 (Round 5) at Principality Stadium, Cardiff
WALES (27) 67, ITALY (0) 14
Wales: 15 Liam Williams (1T); 14 George North (1T), 13 Jonathan Davies (1T), 12 Jamie Roberts (1T), 11 Hallam Amos; 10 Dan Biggar (1T, 5C, 2P), 9 Rhys Webb (1T); 1 Rob Evans, 2 Scott Baldwin, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Bradley Davies, 5 Luke Charteris, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Taulupe Faletau
Bench: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Ross Moriarty (2T), 21 Gareth Davies (1T), 22 Rhys Priestland (3C), 23 Gareth Anscombe
Test debuts: none RBS 6 Nations: Hallam Amos, Ross Moriarty

Replacements used: Ross Moriarty for Justin Tipuric (16), Gareth Anscombe for Hallam Amos (48), Ken Owens for Scott Baldwin (49), Gethin Jenkins for Rob
Evans (49), Aaron Jarvis for Samson Lee (58), Jake Ball for Bradley Davies (58), Rhys Priestland for Dan Biggar (58), Gareth Davies for Rhys Webb (62)
Tries: 9 – Williams, North, J Davies, Roberts, Biggar, Webb, G Davies, Moriarty (2) Kicking: Biggar (5/6 Con, 2/2 Pen), Priestland (3/3 Con)

Italy: 15 David Odiete; 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia (1T), 11 Mattia Bellini; 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani (1T); 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Davide Giazzon, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 5 Valerio Bernabo, 6 Francesco Minto, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 8 Sergio Parisse
Bench: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Jacopo Sarto, 20 Braam Steyn, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 Kelly Haimona (2C), 23 Luke McLean
Test debuts: none RBS 6 Nations: Jacopo Sarto

Replacements used: Luke McLean for Mattia Bellini (33), Kelly Haimona for Andrea Pratichetti (35), Dario Chistolini for Martin Castrogiovanni (46), Jacopo Sarto
for Valerio Bernabo (46), Oliviero Fabiani for Davide Giazzon (46), Braam Steyn for Francesco Minto (58), Alberto Lucchese for Guglielmo Palazzani (64), Matteo
Zanusso for Andrea Lovotti (64)

Tries: 2 – Palazzani, Garcia Kicking: Haimona (2/2 Con)

Scoring sequence: 5’ Webb (T) 5-0, 5’ Biggar (C) 7-0, 15’ Biggar (P) 10-0, 21’ Biggar (P) 13-0, 29’ Biggar (T) 18-0, 30’ Biggar (C) 20-0, 33’ J Davies (T) 25-0, 33’
Biggar (C) 27-0, 45’ Robert (T) 32-0, 49’ North (T) 37-0, 50’ Biggar (C) 39-0, 54’ Palazzani (T) 39-5, 55’ Haimona (C) 39-7, 57’ Williams (T) 44-7, 59’ Biggar (C)
46-7, 62’ Garcia (T) 46-12, 63’ Haimona (C) 46-14, 65’ Moriarty (T) 51-14, 66’ Priestland (C) 53-14, 79’ Moriarty (T) 58-14, 80’ Priestland (C) 60-14, 80+2’ G
Davies (T) 65-14, 80+ 3’ (C) 67-14

Referee: Romain Poite (France) Attendance: 74,160 RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match: George North

rec16

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