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Rugby Union Six Nations Championships: Preview and Latest Odds

Published on January 30, 2023
Updated on November 6, 2023
Christopher
Written by Christopher

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Rugby Union Six Nations Championships: Preview and Latest Odds

The Six Nations 2023 begins on Saturday February 4, when Wales take on Ireland in Cardiff, and England host Scotland at Twickenham. The tournament, Europe’s most prestigious Rugby Union competition, will conclude on ‘Super Saturday’, March 18, when all three fixtures kick-off on the same day, one after another.

Ireland and France are currently ranked number one and two in the world. Therefore, the Irish go into the tournament as favourites. After finishing runners up in last year’s Six Nations, they enjoyed a fantastic summer tour when they became just the fifth touring side and first in the professional era to achieve a series win in New Zealand. This was followed up with three impressive victories in the Autumn Internationals, against South Africa, Fiji and Australia.

The French will be aiming to replicate their superb 2022 campaign which saw them win the Championship and Grand Slam for the first time since 2010. Their Autumn campaign saw victories over South Africa, Australia and Japan.

Both England and Wales will compete in their first major tournament since parting company with their respective head coaches, Eddie Jones and Wayne Pivac, following disappointing results in the Autumn Internationals.

And both new coaches will have to hit the ground running. Scott Borthwick’s first match in charge of England is the Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland.  Warren Gatland begins his second stint in charge of Wales with a tough home fixture against Ireland.

Six Nations 2023 fixtures

Round one

Saturday February 4

Wales vs Ireland, 2.15pm, at Principality Stadium (Cardiff)

England vs Scotland, 4.45pm, at Twickenham (London)

Sunday February 5

Italy vs France, 3pm, Stadio Olimpico (Rome)

Round two

Saturday February 11

Ireland vs France, 2.15pm, at Aviva Stadium (Dublin)

Scotland vs Wales, 4.45pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh)

Sunday February 12

England vs Italy, 3pm, at Twickenham (London)

Round three

Saturday February 25

Italy vs Ireland, 2.15pm, at Stadio Olimpico (Rome)

Wales vs England, 4.45pm, at Principality Stadium (Cardiff)

Sunday February 26

France vs Scotland, 3pm, at Stade de France (Paris)

Round four

Saturday March 11

Italy vs Wales, 2.15pm, at Stadio Olimpico (Rome)

England vs France, 4.45pm, at Twickenham (London)

Sunday March 12

Scotland vs Ireland, 3pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh)

Round five

Saturday March 18

Scotland vs Italy, 12.30pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh)

France vs Wales, 2.45pm, at Stade de France (Paris)

Ireland vs England, 5pm, at Aviva Stadium (Dublin)

Latest odds to win

As of January 10, these are the latest odds to win, from a range of bookmakers.

Ireland: 7/5 BetUK/Unibet

France 15/8 BoyleSports/SpreadEX

England 9/2 BetUK/Unibet/Sporting Index

Wales 14/1 BoyleSports/SpreadEX/Betway/Sporting Index

Scotland 22/1 William Hill/BoyleSports/Betway

Italy 1000/1 BoyleSports/Sporting Index

Odds correct as of 29.01.2023 22:00

Guide to the teams

England

Head Coach – Steve Borthwick

Captain – Owen Farrell

Six Nations Victories – 29

2023 Odds – 9/2 BetUK/Unibet/Sporting Index

England have replaced Eddie Jones with Steve Borthwick ahead of their 2023 campaign, having struggled in the Autumn Internationals. They last won the Six Nations in 2020, but finished 5th a year later and then 3rd in 2022. Borthwick needs to get off to a good start at home to Scotland this time around and will hope to beat Wales in Cardiff. They are at home to France and away to Ireland. It is a transitional period for English Rugby and they are unlikely to trouble the top two.

France

Head Coach – Fabien Galthie

Captain – Antoine Dupont

Six Nations Victories – 18

2023 Odds – 15/8 BoyleSports/SpreadEx

The French are the second favourites just behind Ireland to win the 2023 Six Nations, despite being reigning champions following their 2022 Grand Slam. France are strong in all areas, with captain Dupont dictating play from scrum-half and Melvyn Jaminet kicking well from full-back. Coach Galthie can rely on a strong forward pack to gain ground before throwing it out to dangerous finishers such as Damian Penaud, Gabin Villiere and Gael Fickou. They will be hard to beat again this year, with their trip to Dublin to take on Ireland in Round 2 looking pivotal already.

Ireland

Head Coach – Andy Farrell

Captain – Johnny Sexton

Six Nations Victories – 14

2023 Odds – 7/5 (favourites) BetUK/Unibet

Ireland go into the 2023 Six Nations as outright favourites after a great 2022. However, they have not won this tournament since claiming their  14th title in 2018. Led by their English coach Andy Farrell, they will be looking for Six Nations success as stalwart Johnny Sexton comes to the end of his glittering career. Their Kiwi influence continues through backs James Lowe and Jamison Gibson-Park (both born in New Zealand) who were excellent  in 2022. A  narrow defeat to France ended their hopes last year.

Italy

Head Coach – Kieran Crowly

Captain – Michele Lamaro

Six Nations Victories – 0

2023 Odds – 1000/1 BoyleSports/Sporting Index

Italy can be found as huge outsiders to win the Six Nations. They have never come close to winning this competition before and have finished bottom in the last seven editions. They are however, capable of springing a surprise.  In 2022, they stunned Wales to win 22-21 in Cardiff, but that was their first victory since a  22-19 against Scotland at Murrayfield in 2015. Paolo Garbisi is a solid kicker but as a squad they are not at the level of their rivals.

Scotland

Head Coach – Gregor Townsend

Captain – Jamie Ritchie

Six Nations Victories – 14

2023 Odds – 22/1 William Hill/BoyleSports/Betway

Gregor Townsend has turned them into a solid outfit since taking over in 2017, Even so, Scotland’s highest finish under Townsend was third in the 2018 Six Nations when they overcame a battering from Wales to record victories over France, England and Italy. This will probably be as good as they can hope for this year.

Wales

Head Coach – Warren Gatland

Captain – Justin Tipuric

Six Nations Victories – 28

2023 Odds – 14/1 BoyleSports/SpreadEX/Sporting Index

Winners in 2021 and 2019, Wales are again under the stewardship of Warren Gatland and will hope for an improved showing this year after finishing fifth in the 2022 Six Nations. A sole victory over Scotland was followed by home defeats to Georgia and Australia in the autumn internationals, leading to the sacking of Wayne Pivac. Gatland will hope to rely on some of the men he selected for the British and Irish Lions in 2019, such as Dan Biggar, Josh Adams, Ken Owens and Alun Wyn-Jones. This could be a period of transition for the Welsh, making finishing above the Irish or the French unlikely.

Latest Odds Selected Bookmakers

 William Hillbet365BetwayBetfredBoyleSportsBetVictorBetUK
Ireland11/811/811/811/813/1011/87/5
France7/47/415/87/415/87/413/8
England4/14/14/14/14/14/19/2
Wales11/110/114/111/114/110/110/1
Scotland22/118/122/120/122/120/116/1
Italy500/1500/1250/1500/11000/1400/1250/1
Odds correct as of 29.01.2023 22:00
 CoralLadbrokesbetfair888SportSporting IndexUnibetPaddy PowerSpreadEX
Ireland11/811/85/413/1013/107/55/45/4
France13/813/87/47/46/413/87/415/8
England4/14/17/24/19/29/27/24/1
Wales12/112/112/110/114/110/112/114/1
Scotland20/120/120/116/120/116/120/118/1
Italy500/1500/1500/1500/11000/1250/1500/1750/1
Odds correct as of 29.01.2023 22:00

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Christopher

Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives.

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