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2021 Guinness Six Nations Weekend 2 Previews and Teams Selection Reports

2021 Guinness Six Nations Weekend 2 Previews and Teams Selection Reports

Ahead of the second weekend of matches, we are pleased to share you the next set of statistics for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Match Previews and Team Selection Notes


Date: Saturday, February 13
Venue: Twickenham
Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

Previous results

    • 2020: England won 34-5 in Rome
    • 2019: England won 37-0 in Newcastle
    • 2019: England won 57-14 in London
    • 2018: England won 46-15 in Rome
    • 2017: England won 36-15 in London
    • 2016: England won 40-9 in Rome
    • 2015: England won 47-17 in London
    • 2014: England won 52-11 in Rome
    • 2013: England won 18-11 in London

The teams

    • England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Mako Vunipola
      Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Jack Willis, 22 Dan Robson, 23 Max Malins
    • Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Andrea Lovotti
      Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Federico Mori


    • England have won each of their 21 fixtures against Italy in the Six Nations, they are the only team yet to suffer defeat against
      the Azzurri in the Championship.
    • England have hosted Italy on 10 occasions in the Six Nations, winning each of those 10 fixtures by an average margin of 31
      points and scoring 5.6 tries per game.
    • England have scored a tally of 109 tries against Italy in the Six Nations, no other team has scored 100+ tries against a single
      opponent in the tournament.
    • Italy have scored a tally of seven tries in their last three away games to England in the Six Nations – crossing the line at least
      twice in each of those games – after scoring eight tries in their first seven trips to Twickenham.
    • England have won each of their 27 Test meetings with Italy, keeping the Azzurri pointless the last time they visited England,
      37-0 in Newcastle in September 2019.


    • Only Ireland (2.7s) recorded a quicker average ruck speed than Italy in Round 1 (3.0s), while England managed to slow their
      opponent’s ruck speed down more than any other nation (4.7s).
    • Italy made just 23 kicks in their match against France, the fewest of any team in Round 1 of the Six Nations, while only Scotland
      (43) made more kicks than England (35, level with Ireland).
    • England failed to make any line breaks in the opening round of the Six Nations, while only France (8) made more than the
      Azzurri (7) in Round 1.
    • England (6) and Italy (9) were the only sides to win fewer than 10 penalties last weekend, while they conceded more penalties
      than any other nation ( England15, Italy 12).
    • Italy recorded 53% territory in their opening match against France, only Scotland had more in Round 1 (58%), while England
      had the least territory of any side (42%).


    • England lost to Scotland at Twickenham on the opening weekend of this year’s Six Nations, they’ve not lost back-to-back
      games at home in the 5/6 Nations since 1983 ( v France & Scotland).
    • England have won their Round 2 match in each of their previous 11 Six Nations campaigns, last losing their second game of the
      campaign back in 2009 ( 15-23 v Wales).
    • Since the start of the 2018 Six Nations England have won 80 of 82 scrums on their own feed in the Championship, the best
      success rate of any side in that time (98%).
    • Owen Farrell has scored 112 points against Italy in eight previous encounters with them, his average of 14 points per game is
      his best rate against anyone he has faced more than once; 15 of those 112 points have come from three tries, more than he has
      scored against the other Six Nations sides combined ( 1 v France and 1 v Scotland).
    • Jonny May has 31 tries for England, one more would leave him in standalone second spot on England’s top try scorers list
      behind just Rory Underwood ( 49, Will Greenwood and Ben Cohen both 31 tries too ); he has just one try in seven previous matches
      against Italy however.


    • Italy managed a tackle success rate of just 76% against France in Round 1 of this year’s Six Nations, only once has a side had a
      worse rate than this in the Championship since 2007 (Italy 69% v France in 2017).
    • Three of the four players to make around-high two offloads last weekend were Italians – Jacopo Trulla, Paolo Garbisiand,
      Stephen Varney (also Antoine Dupont).
    • Italy’s Paolo Garbisi recorded 474 kicking metres against France last weekend, the most of any player in Round1, despite Italy
      recording the fewest kicking metres of any team overall (819).
    • Only Ireland’s James Lowe (155) ran for more metres in Round 1of this year’s Six Nations than Italian duo Monty Ioane (137)
      and Juan Ignacio Brex (132).
    • Italy’s Danilo Fischetti was one of five players to concede three penalties in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, no
      player conceded more.

Date: Saturday, February 13
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Andrea Piardi (Italy)
TMO: Karl Dickson (England)

Previous results

    • 2020: Scotland won 14-10 in Llanelli
    • 2019: Wales won 18-11 in Edinburgh
    • 2018: Wales won 21-10 in Cardiff
    • 2018: Wales won 34-7 in Cardiff
    • 2017: Scotland won 29-13 in Edinburgh
    • 2016: Wales won 27-23 in Cardiff
    • 2015: Wales won 26-23 in Edinburgh
    • 2014: Wales won 51-3 in Cardiff

The teams

    • Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (c), 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 James Lang, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Rory Sutherland
      Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 WP Nel, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Huw Jones
    • Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones
      Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 James Botham, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Willis Halaholo


    • Scotland have won two of their last four Six Nations matches against Wales (L2), more than they’d won in their previous 13
       Championship meetings (W1,L12); Gregor Townsend’s men will be aiming to record back-to-back wins against Wales in the Six 
      Nations for the first time since 2002-2003.
    • Wales have led at halftime in each of their last six visits to BT Murrayfield in the Six Nations, going on to win five of those 
      matches; their only defeat in that run came in 2017 when they lost 29-13 after conceding 20 unanswered second-half points.
    • Scotland have scored only six tries in their last seven home games against Wales in the Six Nations, never scoring more than 
      two tries in a game in the process, after scoring exactly three tries in each of their first three games at BT Murrayfield against the 
      Welsh team.
    • Four of the last six meetings between Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations have seen a final margin of seven points or 
      fewer, while 10 of their previous 11 encounters in the Championship ended with a double-digit margin.
    • Scotland have failed to score a first-half try in eight of their last 10 games against Wales in the Six Nations; however they 
      managed to cross the line for a try during the second-half in seven of those games, including the last six.


    • Scotland were the only side not to lose a lineout (15/15) on the opening weekend of the 2021 Six Nations, Wales lost more 
      than any other side (4).
    • Wales recorded a 90% tackle success rate in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, the best rate of any nation, just one 
      percentage point ahead of Scotland (89%, France also 89%).
    • Scotland recorded 29 tackle breaks against England in the opening round of the Six Nations, more than any other side, while 
      only England (11) recorded fewer than Wales (17).
    • Scotland (4.7s) and Wales (4.3) were the only sides to record an average ruck speed of over four second in the opening round 
      of this year’s Six Nations.
    • Wales averaged 2.4 points per 22 entry in their opening game against Ireland, only France (4.3) recorded a better rate in
       Round 1, while only England, who failed to score any points, recorded fewer points per 22 entry than Scotland (0.6).


    • Scotland conceded just 59 points in their four games at BT Murrayfield in 2020, their average of 14.8 points conceded per 
      game was their third lowest in such matches in a calendar year in the professional era and their lowest since 2011 (14.2, also 13.5 in 
      2009 ).
    • Scotland enjoyed 62% possession and 58% territory in their win against England in Round 1, no side has enjoyed more 
      possession in a Six Nations match across the last two editions.
    • Scotland captain Stuart Hogg gained 88 metres with ball in hand against England last weekend, taking him past Sergio 
      Parisse (3,088) as the player to gain the most in Six Nations history (3,091).
    • Duhan van der Merwe has scored four tries in his first five starts for Scotland, only failing to cross the try line against France in 
      that run; he’s beaten 25 defenders in those five games, including five against England last timeout.
    • Scotland’s Scott Cummings recorded 45 breakdown arrivals against England, no other player hit 40+ attacking rucks in the 
      opening round of this year’s Championship.


    • Wales have lost their last six away games in Test rugby, conceding 30 points per game in that spell, they had won five such 
      matches in a row before that run; the last time they endured a longer such losing run was when they lost 10/10 away games in 2006 
      and 2007.
    • Justin Tipuric made 29 tackles in Wales’ win over Ireland in Round 1, the most by any player in the Championship since 
      Guilhem Guirado made 31 against Ireland in 2018.
    • George North is set to win his 100th cap for Wales in this match, he will be the sixth player to achieve this feat for the country 
      (Alun Wyn Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Stephen Jones, Gareth Thomas, Martyn Williams).
    • Welsh duo Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric hit 14 defensive rucks each against Ireland last weekend, no other player from 
      any nation recorded as many defensive break down arrivals.
    • Josh Navidi and Ken Owens both made a round-high two dominant tackles in the Six Nations last weekend, no player made 
      more (Maro Itoje, Paul Willemse and Will Connors also 2).

Date: Sunday, February 14
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

Previous results

    • 2020: France won 35-27 in Paris
    • 2019: Ireland won 26-14 in Dublin
    • 2018: Ireland won 15-13 in Paris
    • 2017: Ireland won 19-9 in Dublin
    • 2016: France won 10-9 in Paris
    • 2015: Ireland won 24-9 in Cardiff (RWC)
    • 2015: Ireland won 18-11 in Dublin
    • 2014: Ireland won 22-20 in Paris

The teams

    • Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy
      Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Will Connors, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Jordan Larmour
    • France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Anthony Jelonch, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
      Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Bouthier, 23 Teddy Thomas


    • Ireland lost their last game against France in the Six Nations but have not lost back-to-back games against Le Bleus in the 
      Championship since 2010 and 2011.
    • Ireland have won five of their last seven clashes with France in the Six Nations (L2) after winning only four of their 30 previous 
      meetings with Les Bleus in Five/Six Nations (D3L23).
    • Ireland have won their last three home games against France in the Six Nations, as many as in their previous seven such 
      meetings (D1L3).
    • France failed to score in the first-half during their last trip to Ireland in the Six Nations (14-26 defeat in 2019), the only time 
      they have remained pointless in the first-half of an away game in the Championship over the last 10years.
    • Ireland have scored 20+ points in each of their last two games against France in the Tournament but have never reached that 
      tally in more consecutive games against Les Bleus in Five/Six Nations.


    • Ireland won seven turnovers in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, more than any other nation, while France won 
      the second most (6).
    • Ireland made 189 carries in the opening round of this year’s Championship, more than any other nation, while only England 
      (70) made fewer than France (94).
    • Three of the five players to make a round-high two line breaks last weekend play for either France ( Arthur Vincent, Teddy 
      Thomas ) or Ireland ( Hugo Keenan ).
    • France’s Matthieu Jalibert slotted each of his seven kicks at goal against Italy, no player successfully kicked as many, while 
      Ireland’s Johnny Sexton kicked 3/3 for Ireland.
    •  Iain Henderson (Ireland) and Jean-Baptiste Gros (France) each recorded two break down steals in the opening round of this 
      year’s Six Nations, no other player made as many in Round 1.


    • Ireland lost to Wales on the opening weekend of the 2021 Six Nations, they’ve never lost their opening two games of a Six 
      Nations campaign.
    • Ireland carried the ball for 1,090 metres against Wales in Round 1, no other team carried for over 1000 metres in the opening 
    • Ireland’s Tadhg Beirne made the most carries of any player in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations (21) while he also 
      hit the most rucks of any player (48) and was Ireland’s joint top tackler (10, level with CJ Stander).
    • James Lowe ran with the ball for 155 metres in Ireland’s opening game against Wales, the most of any player in Round 1, 
      while team mate Hugo Keenan recorded the fourth most ball carry metres (123).
    • Ireland’s Will Connors was one of just five players to make a round-high two dominant tackles in the opening round of this 
      year’s Six Nations, despite playing just 20 minutes as a replacement.


    • France have won three of their last four away games in the Six Nations, as many victories as they’d managed in their previous 
      18 games on the road in the Championship (D1,L14).
    • France scored the opening try in their Round 1 match against Italy and have now crossed for the opening try of the game in 
      14 of their last 17 Six Nations matches, including their last seven in a row.
    • France made nine offloads in their win over Italy, more than any other team in Round 1; Antoine Dupont made a joint high 
      two offloads in the opening round and was one of just two players to assist a try with an offload ( also Wales’ Josh Navidi ).
    • In Round 1 France’s Antoine Dupont assisted four tries, the joint most by any player in a Six Nations match, equalling the 
      record set by Frédéric Michalak against Italy in 2006.
    • France’s Paul Willemse made 16/16 tackles against Italy, no other player made 15+ tackles without missing at least one in 
      Round 1 of this year’s Six Nations.


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