Six Nations 2017



  • Thought we may need a thread for predictions. happenings, mini match followings etc for the upcoming tourney.

    Fixtures
    Week 1

    Scotland v Ireland Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
    England v France Twickenham Stadium, London
    Italy v Wales Stadio Olimpico, Rome

    Week 2

    Italy v Ireland Stadio Olimpico, Rome
    Wales v England Principality Stadium, Cardiff
    France v Scotland Stade de France, Paris

    Week 3

    Scotland v Wales Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
    Ireland v France Aviva Stadium, Dublin
    England v Italy Twickenham Stadium, London

    Week 4

    Wales v Ireland Principality Stadium, Cardiff
    Italy v France Stadio Olimpico, Rome
    England v Scotland Twickenham Stadium, London

    Week 5

    Scotland v Italy Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
    France v Wales Stade de France, Paris
    Ireland v England Aviva Stadium, Dublin

    While many are expecting this to culminate in a showdown between England and Ireland in Dublin in the last game I wouldn't be surprised if France throw a cat among the pigeons in the first round. England will be going into that game with quite a bit of their pack unavailable and other options being limited.
    Currently, I think the situations is that both Billy and Mako Vunipola , George Kruis, Joe Launchbury and Chris Robshaw are all confirmed out of the first round. Add to that Dylan Hartley will have had very little rugby in the lead up and Manu Tuilagi is now no longer a backup midfield option. James Haskell is also currently injured so has little time to get match fit.
    I'm sure Eddie has plans to cover them but it isn't as if he has built the depth he wants just yet. The Vunipolas are probably the biggest loss with a reduction of front foot ball likely.
    I wonder if the Frogs can summon up enough interest in playing away to have a really good crack at this match?



  • Yep, the England injury crisis is huge. Even more so when you consider Itoje, Robshaw & Billy are probably their players of the year.

    Nathan Hughes looked ok the other day & should hopefully get then on the front foot, but Robshaw is a huge loss from a cleaning up the mess point of view. He's been Ruben Thorne like this year (and I mean that in a good way).



  • I hate it when we get these predictions of an England v whoever as the crunch match. This may have had some substance back in the Nineties when France and England were regularly both a cut above but even then the competition was always much more closely contested than that. Nowadays such showboating in the press is just embarrassing. As Crucial said, France will be a good shout of pissing all over the Ireland v England "showdown". Add to that both England and Ireland have Wales in Cardiff, so both teams being unbeaten at the end of the tournament is far from certain. Scotland also have improved considerably and with the Glasgow influence are more than capable of putting a spanner in the works.

    Having said all that i will make my predictions for week one and reserve further predictions until after the first round:

    Ireland favourites v Scotland, but this may be one Scotland are targeting. Close but Ireland to win.

    England v France is a binary option for me depending upon the old cliche of which France turns up. Either close to France or comfortable for England, but buggered if I would put money on either option.

    I can't see past anything but a Welsh win in Italy.



  • @Crucial I understand that both Vunipolas are out of the EPS January squad but Kruis, Launchbury and Robshaw are all in.



  • @Catogrande

    Launchbury missing the first one. Robshaw is in but waiting on a scan to see how fecked his shoulder is. Kruis has got a cracked cheek so might make it.

    So if Robshaw doesn't make Kruis & Lawes locking with Hughes, Itoje & Wood in the backrow isn't bad...



  • @gollum said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Catogrande

    Launchbury missing the first one. Robshaw is in but waiting on a scan to see how fecked his shoulder is. Kruis has got a cracked cheek so might make it.

    So if Robshaw doesn't make Kruis & Lawes locking with Hughes, Itoje & Wood in the backrow isn't bad...

    But will the bench still have strength? All very well moving players up to cover but it is the depth that can be the killer.
    The Hartley situation is interesting as well. EJ is going to reach a point where what Hartley brings to the table as captain (and he has actually done a good job) won't outweigh his ranking in the position. EJ is desperate to keep him in the squad though as there is a gulf to the third hooker. For this game there is probably no desire for a makeshift captain so despite the better option of having him start from the bench (given his lack of matchplay) he will probably start.

    EDIT: I agree with @Catogrande on this being too weird to call but may be tempted on putting something on France if the odds are cocky



  • @gollum The Evening Standard (beacon of fine journalism) has Launchbury back playing for Wasps on the 14th. If so that leaves us with him, Lawes, Itoje, Ewels and potentially Kruis. I'm happy with that. The back row is looking shaky though. Hughes is now nailed on, Wood has been playing very well but then it looks a bit thin without Robshaw. Harrison hasn't impressed although there must be something that Eddie sees in him. After that it is down to some tyros and Itoje.Whilst it is a shame about Yuilagi being injured yet again, he hasn't been a part of things much at all under Eddie so not such a loss. To be honest I'm not sure I'd pick him anyway. 😑



  • @Catogrande said in Six Nations 2017:

    @gollum The Evening Standard (beacon of fine journalism) has Launchbury back playing for Wasps on the 14th. If so that leaves us with him, Lawes, Itoje, Ewels and potentially Kruis. I'm happy with that. The back row is looking shaky though. Hughes is now nailed on, Wood has been playing very well but then it looks a bit thin without Robshaw. Harrison hasn't impressed although there must be something that Eddie sees in him. After that it is down to some tyros and Itoje.Whilst it is a shame about Yuilagi being injured yet again, he hasn't been a part of things much at all under Eddie so not such a loss. To be honest I'm not sure I'd pick him anyway. 😑

    I'd think MT would be a nice bench option to have against tiring defences. Provides the option of moving Farrell in later in the game for control and setting MT up to bend the line and make life easier for the tiring forwards



  • @Crucial said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Catogrande said in Six Nations 2017:

    @gollum The Evening Standard (beacon of fine journalism) has Launchbury back playing for Wasps on the 14th. If so that leaves us with him, Lawes, Itoje, Ewels and potentially Kruis. I'm happy with that. The back row is looking shaky though. Hughes is now nailed on, Wood has been playing very well but then it looks a bit thin without Robshaw. Harrison hasn't impressed although there must be something that Eddie sees in him. After that it is down to some tyros and Itoje.Whilst it is a shame about Yuilagi being injured yet again, he hasn't been a part of things much at all under Eddie so not such a loss. To be honest I'm not sure I'd pick him anyway. 😑

    I'd think MT would be a nice bench option to have against tiring defences. Provides the option of moving Farrell in later in the game for control and setting MT up to bend the line and make life easier for the tiring forwards

    For sure he could be useful but who would you leave out? Eddie always favours a 5/3 split on the bench, take one away for the scrum half and you have two guys to cover midfield, wing and full back.. If we had Nowell and Watson on the wings, either could cover FB which would allow Daly to cover 12/13 and wing, so a spot for MT is viable, but with Yarde and May on the wings, then less so.



  • @Catogrande

    I really think Itoje will end up at 6, or even 7 a fair bit this 6 nations.



  • @gollum It's not something I'd want but it wouldn't surprise me.



  • Hoping France go well myself. The tournament is not the same when they are duelling with Italy for the wooden spoon.



  • @Catogrande said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Crucial said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Catogrande said in Six Nations 2017:

    @gollum The Evening Standard (beacon of fine journalism) has Launchbury back playing for Wasps on the 14th. If so that leaves us with him, Lawes, Itoje, Ewels and potentially Kruis. I'm happy with that. The back row is looking shaky though. Hughes is now nailed on, Wood has been playing very well but then it looks a bit thin without Robshaw. Harrison hasn't impressed although there must be something that Eddie sees in him. After that it is down to some tyros and Itoje.Whilst it is a shame about Yuilagi being injured yet again, he hasn't been a part of things much at all under Eddie so not such a loss. To be honest I'm not sure I'd pick him anyway. 😑

    I'd think MT would be a nice bench option to have against tiring defences. Provides the option of moving Farrell in later in the game for control and setting MT up to bend the line and make life easier for the tiring forwards

    For sure he could be useful but who would you leave out? Eddie always favours a 5/3 split on the bench, take one away for the scrum half and you have two guys to cover midfield, wing and full back.. If we had Nowell and Watson on the wings, either could cover FB which would allow Daly to cover 12/13 and wing, so a spot for MT is viable, but with Yarde and May on the wings, then less so.

    You know the players far better than I but when you have Farrell at 12 then the bench can have a halfback, an outside back and a centre.
    I agree that this relies on having versatile outside backs.
    I never like it when NZ goes into a match with patchy cover for the centres (which happens a bit more now we don't have DC able to slide out one)



  • Ooh a new Six Nations topic already.

    What might make this year's tourney more interesting is the addition of bonus points - particularly if every team loses a match before final round.

    In theory, Wales should top the table after Round 1 as being the most likely to get a TBP point, and other losing teams might get an LBP. But it's a bit of lottery in the first game up.

    Which France turn up at Twickenham is the key question where they haven't won in donkeys.

    Ireland tend to start strong but a resurgent Scotland in Murrayfield may be a lot closer result. Injuries aren't too bad for Ireland with just Dillane, Payne, Olding, Carbery, Ross, D Kearney, McFadden unlikely to be available currently. 1 league and 2 Euro Cup matches to go could change that picture.

    Wales are notorious poor starters but should still get over the line unless O'Shea can pulls some rabbit out of a hat.



  • @Pot-Hale said in Six Nations 2017:

    Ooh a new Six Nations topic already.

    What might make this year's tourney more interesting is the addition of bonus points - particularly if every team loses a match before final round.

    In theory, Wales should top the table after Round 1 as being the most likely to get a TBP point, and other losing teams might get an LBP. But it's a bit of lottery in the first game up.

    Which France turn up at Twickenham is the key question where they haven't won in donkeys.

    Ireland tend to start strong but a resurgent Scotland in Murrayfield may be a lot closer result. Injuries aren't too bad for Ireland with just Dillane, Payne, Olding, Carbery, Ross, D Kearney, McFadden unlikely to be available currently. 1 league and 2 Euro Cup matches to go could change that picture.

    Wales are notorious poor starters but should still get over the line unless O'Shea can pulls some rabbit out of a hat.

    Surely Ross and McFadden are permanently out of the Irish picture, no?



  • @Billy-Tell said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Pot-Hale said in Six Nations 2017:

    Ooh a new Six Nations topic already.

    What might make this year's tourney more interesting is the addition of bonus points - particularly if every team loses a match before final round.

    In theory, Wales should top the table after Round 1 as being the most likely to get a TBP point, and other losing teams might get an LBP. But it's a bit of lottery in the first game up.

    Which France turn up at Twickenham is the key question where they haven't won in donkeys.

    Ireland tend to start strong but a resurgent Scotland in Murrayfield may be a lot closer result. Injuries aren't too bad for Ireland with just Dillane, Payne, Olding, Carbery, Ross, D Kearney, McFadden unlikely to be available currently. 1 league and 2 Euro Cup matches to go could change that picture.

    Wales are notorious poor starters but should still get over the line unless O'Shea can pulls some rabbit out of a hat.

    Surely Ross and McFadden are permanently out of the Irish picture, no?

    They're still in the wider squad for this year. I'd never say never.



  • When the the Stadium in Cardiff get renamed?



  • Well, yesterday the Evening Standard had Launchbury back for the match on the 14th; today the BBC has him missing the first 6N match on the 4th Feb. Hmmm.



  • @Hooroo said in Six Nations 2017:

    When the the Stadium in Cardiff get renamed?

    1 January 2016



  • @Hooroo said in Six Nations 2017:

    When the the Stadium in Cardiff get renamed?

    I wondered that as well. January 2016 apparently (we are only a year behind - well a bit more for me as it still the Arms Park I reckon).

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/wales/34187065



  • https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/09/england-chris-robshaw-12-weeks-six-nations

    Chris Robshaw crocked for all of 6 Nations. Reckon we will see Itoje there giving him a really nice warm up for the Lions.

    England’s Chris Robshaw ruled out for 12 weeks and will miss Six Nations

    Chris Robshaw has been ruled out of the Six Nations after Harlequins confirmed the England flanker will undergo surgery on his injured shoulder on Monday and will be sidelined for 12 weeks.

    Robshaw aggravated an existing injury to his left shoulder in Harlequins’ New Year’s Day defeat by Worcester and a meeting with a specialist confirmed the need for surgery. Robshaw had hoped to play some part in England’s defence of their Six Nations title but will now be out of action until April in what comes as a major blow for Eddie Jones. The 30-year-old has emerged as a key lieutenant for England since moving to blindside flanker and relinquishing the captaincy last year and has started 12 of the 13 victories under the Australian – missing only the end-of-season friendly against Wales.

    “Chris is a massive ‘glue’ player who does the unseen work,” said Jones, at the two-day training camp in Brighton last week. “He is a really strong, consistent player and is a massive leader for us in an informal sense.”

    Jones has hinted that Maro Itoje, who missed England’s autumn campaign with a hand injury, may make the switch to blindside but the head coach has a number of other injury headaches to contend with before beginning the Six Nations at home to France on 4 February.

    Robshaw’s club-mate Joe Marler withdrew from Saturday’s victory over Sale with a calf injury and is likely to undergo a scan while the Vunipola brothers, Mako and Billy, are absent with knee injuries. Their fellow Saracens forward George Kruis is currently recovering from a fractured cheekbone

    James Haskell, meanwhile, lasted all of 35 seconds in his first appearance since June on Sunday before going off with a head injury and must undergo the return-to-play protocols, making an appearance in the Champions Cup against Toulouse on Saturday unlikely.

    Elliot Daly was also withdrawn from Sunday’s win over Leicester with a head injury and Joe Launchbury is nursing a calf strain. Compounding Jones’s problems at forward, Dylan Hartley’s six-week ban will leave him short of game time when France arrive at Twickenham.



  • Ireland
    England
    Wales

    Based on the personnel available today (09 January)



  • My pick is for the final game to still be relevant and a close England win in Dublin bringing them level on the table with Ireland. The 6N website hasn't been updated on rules but if they are the same as previous years (plus BPs) then 'who beat who' is not the criteria. It is points difference, then tries scored.
    Given that England are a bigger flat track bully than Ireland the England take the title.

    England
    Ireland
    France (very close behind)
    Scotland (Scots to beat the Welsh)
    Wales
    Italy



  • @MiketheSnow said in Six Nations 2017:

    Ireland
    England
    Wales

    Based on the personnel available today (09 January)

    Oh, oh, you made Ireland favourites!

    Big no, no. 🙂

    Although based on personnel available currently, I don't disagree.

    The bookies do, though....



  • @Crucial said in Six Nations 2017:

    My pick is for the final game to still be relevant and a close England win in Dublin bringing them level on the table with Ireland. The 6N website hasn't been updated on rules but if they are the same as previous years (plus BPs) then 'who beat who' is not the criteria. It is points difference, then tries scored.
    Given that England are a bigger flat track bully than Ireland the England take the title.

    England
    Ireland
    France (very close behind)
    Scotland (Scots to beat the Welsh)
    Wales
    Italy

    Squad depth could also play a part depending on injuries picked up during the tourney.

    For Ireland, their biggest problem spots are 9 and 10. Murray and/or Sexton leaves them with Marmion/McGrath and Jackson/and err..... Keatley/Madigan (who's playing in France and out of the picture). Carbery is on an 8-week layoff from ankle surgery and not due back until Round 2 or likely 3 with no game time unless he can pick up a league match.



  • @gollum said in Six Nations 2017:

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/09/england-chris-robshaw-12-weeks-six-nations

    Chris Robshaw crocked for all of 6 Nations. Reckon we will see Itoje there giving him a really nice warm up for the Lions.

    Agreed. I think this is actually could work in the Lions favour.
    Itoje at 6 maximises physicality and lineout height in the back five without compromising athleticism.



  • Kruis now confirmed as not being available for any club rugby before the 6N so add him to the 'underdone' list with Hartley.
    Marler's leg strain now diagnosed as a fracture and he won't be available for at least the starting weekend.
    Down to third choice LHP now isn't it?



  • Marler now gone as well. Broken leg.

    In other news England's penalty count expected to fall significantly.



  • @Catogrande said in Six Nations 2017:

    Marler now gone as well. Broken leg.

    In other news England's penalty count expected to fall significantly.

    Is it his important leg? You know, the one he uses to drive in at an angle with?



  • Hopefully Genge gets a run. A bit of a headcase, but I'd take the risk any day over someone military medium like Mullan.



  • @Crucial Being an Englishman I have never seen him drive in at an angle. However I am told it is not his stamping leg if that's any help?



  • @Margin_Walker Agreed. I saw Genge do a cameo against Wales in the pre-tour match and thought he's got what it takes. Our cover at prop, although a little green is looking pretty good. Sinckler is doing well, Genge will be a 50 cap+ man if he stays fit (I reckon).



  • @Margin_Walker said in Six Nations 2017:

    Hopefully Genge gets a run. A bit of a headcase, but I'd take the risk any day over someone military medium like Mullan.

    Against the Frogs? I could see a wee bit of provocation going on there in the anticipation of his blood boiling (and his captain getting involved)



  • @Crucial said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Margin_Walker said in Six Nations 2017:

    Hopefully Genge gets a run. A bit of a headcase, but I'd take the risk any day over someone military medium like Mullan.

    Against the Frogs? I could see a wee bit of provocation going on there in the anticipation of his blood boiling (and his captain getting involved)

    Definitely a risk, but he's had a run of decent games,where he's making a big impact across the pitch. Seems to thrive on a bit of niggle and has managed not to lamp anyone...... yet. Game against France could actually bring out the best in him.

    Just can't get too enthused about Mullan or Catt. They are both decent enough, but that's about it.

    Think he'll end up going with Mullan, with Genge off the bench



  • @Margin_Walker I think you're likely right about how Eddie will go. It might be a step too far even for him to drop Genge right in at the deep end. What you get from Mullan is experience and some world class sulking. The French can't handle sulkers, they get all sympathetic.



  • @Catogrande

    Well with Cole and his sunny demeanour on the other side, it will be pure misery in the front row. Will have to look to Hartley for comic relief.



  • @Crucial Looks like you've been spending time on the global leading site for scrum analysis from across the dutch.





  • @Pot-Hale said in Six Nations 2017:

    @MiketheSnow said in Six Nations 2017:

    Ireland
    England
    Wales

    Based on the personnel available today (09 January)

    Oh, oh, you made Ireland favourites!

    Big no, no. 🙂

    Although based on personnel available currently, I don't disagree.

    The bookies do, though....

    These are my opening weekend winners 🙂



  • @MajorRage said in Six Nations 2017:

    @Crucial Looks like you've been spending time on the global leading site for scrum analysis from across the dutch.

    I only go there for the videos


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