This Saturday, the 2021 Six Nations rugby tournament gets underway once again and we are in the slightly unusual position of only just completing last year’s events a mere matter of months ago due to a Covid enforced shutdown and restart.
Back then, Italy played England in Rome and the table ended with England being crowned champions and Italy picking another wooden spoon. As play resumes in its normal February through March slot, there is little reason to think that this year will be any different.
Another Italian Spoon
Starting with a banker, Italy, frankly, cannot beat an egg which, given the amount of wooden spoons they have compiled over the years, is quite honestly criminal. Although its an odds on bet – 1/10 in fact – it is with near certainty that Italy will finish bottom and another wooden kitchen utensil will be added to their already comprehensive collection.
As for things at the top, it really is looking like being England again. Not that they were outstanding last year by the way, far from it. But, given the way the fixtures have landed, they have to be favourites. The Novibet sportsbook clearly agrees and has installed England as short as 21/10.
A good reason for this is that the weakest teams in the comp, the aforementioned Italy and Scotland, are both playing the English at Twickenham, as are second favourites France, meaning England need only to visit Wales and Ireland. True, home advantage isn’t the same without the fans but still.
Calcutta India Bag For England
To that end, a Calcutta Cup win – this is the 150th renewal by the way – to get the English defence of the championship title off to the best possible start can be fancied and then backed for 1/10, which is, we fully admit, another low value punt. But, when you remember that Scotland have not won at Twickenham since 1983, the odds of a home win were never going to be attractive. Also, on the four previous occasions that these auld enemies have met on opening day, England have never lost to the Scottish.
Ok, so we’re not exactly tempting you guys here are we? What about England winning the Grand Slam which is massively possible outcome and a niceish price of 2/1, slightly preferred to England’s Triple Crown odds of 6/5. As for the rest, expect France to pose England’s biggest threat, Scotland to finish directly above the Italians and Wales and Ireland to provide the filler in the middle.
May The Force Be With England
England’s Jonny May, may, ahem, head the top try scorer betting, but we like the look of Teddy Thomas of France. May has banked 31 times in 60 appearances for England, but his team can be uneasy on the eye. Whereas stylish France, powered at the minute by superb scrum-half Antoine Dupont and providing game time for rising stars like Cameron Woki, are both a nice team to watch and a rising force once again.
France picked up their last title in 2010 but, inspired by new head coach Fabien Galthie and defence specialist Shaun Edwards, are improving all the time and beat England in last season’s Six Nations plus have Damian Penaud back. However, even without Mako Vunipola, Eddie Jones’ England, who have won the championships three times in five years under his charge, will be too strong for the rest and should retain their crown come March.