Can England Defend Their Six Nations Crown?
The 2018 Six Nations rugby union tournament kicks off in Cardiff with Scotland the visitors to face Wales. The annual competition will see each nation play each other once across 7 weeks in a feast of rugby much anticipated by fans. This year is shaping up as a hard one to call with some good form shown by the home nation teams in the Autumn Internationals. England enter as defending champions but in what could be an open competition it could still be all to play for in the last round of games on Super Saturday, March 17th.
The Competing 6 Nations
The Big Games
There could be many telling games in the 6 nations if it is as tight as some predict, yet the opener between Wales and Scotland will go some way to showing if either can challenge for the trophy. Scotland will then face arch-rivals and favourites England in front of the Murrayfield faithful for the Calcutta Cup, which England have held since 2009. One of the most eagerly anticipated games and potentially a title decider will be between England and Ireland on the final weekend. This match between the winners of the last four Six Nation titles could also give the Grand Slam to the victor if each side comes into the game with four straight wins. It may be a spectacular end to what is hoped will be a spectacular and competitive tournament.
The Six Nations – A Special Tournament
Dating back to 1882 the Six Nations has a rich history featuring some of the greatest players ever to grace the game. Originally made up of just the four home nations, the five nations tournament was born in 1910 when France joined. This is how the tournament stayed until the addition of Italy in 2000 necessitated the change to the current Six Nations title. There have been eras when one nation has been more dominant such as in the 1970's when the great Welsh side won five championships while containing the likes of Barry John, JPR Williams and Gareth Edwards. England and France have won the most titles in the competition’s current format with five apiece, though England have won 28 tournaments going back to its original formation in 1882.
Many rivalries exist and this is represented by the individual cups played for within the overall competition. England and Scotland play for the Calcutta Cup while England and Ireland contest the Millennium Trophy. The sought-after Triple Crown can be won by either England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales and requires one of these nations to beat the other three during the tournament. The Grand Slam is awarded to any of the Six Nations teams who defeats all the other five.
The format can often see tight conclusions on the final weekend and 2009 was to showcase this with one of the tournament's most exciting matches. With the last kick of the game, Wales had the chance to deny Ireland the Grand Slam, yet the 50 meter penalty kick was to drift wide of the posts, much to Irish delight. This was Ireland's first grand slam in 61 years.
Saturday 3rd February
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Saturday 10th March
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Saturday 17th March
So do the bookies have anything to offer up for this Imperial Championship? Composed below are the various markets available from some of the best Online Bookmakers who oblige punters with Live Streaming and In-play betting.
For the best choice of Rugby Union odds then look no further than Paddy Power. Paddy Power offers a superb choice of Rugby Union betting markets for the Six Nations and access to a multitude of markets on every fixture. Bet in-play is also available as well as match betting, handicap betting, first try scorer odds or ‘winning margin betting.
Six Nations Markets Offered:
Betfred have promotions and live odds for rugby union with correct score prediction & many more markets.