Six Nations Betting Tips - Round 1
The Six Nations gets underway for another year this weekend, as Wales look to retain their title with a match against Italy. Elsewhere, Ireland host Scotland and England travel to France in what should be the closest game of the opening round. Throughout the tournament, make sure to keep an eye on our Six Nations betting tips for previews ahead of every round, and head over to Bet UK’s online betting for the latest rugby betting odds for all matches.
Wales (1/100) v Italy (12/1) - 14:15 1st Feb 2020 - Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Wales start the defence of their Six Nations title with a home match against Italy. Wayne Pivac has taken over from the hugely successful Warren Gatland, and will be hoping to prove that he is worthy to follow on from a coach who did so much for Welsh rugby. Injuries and recent form means there is quite a shake up in Pivac’s first Wales squad. Centre Nick Tompkins and winger Johnny McNicholl are both making their first capped appearance in the Wales squad. Missing out however are Gareth Davies, Tomas Francis and Louis Ree-Zammit have all missed out through injury. Regardless of the team that Wales put out, this is the perfect start for Wales. A simple win against Italy will put them in the ascendancy heading into the rest of the Six Nations.
Whereas Wales finished top of the table at last year’s Six Nations, it was Italy who were propping up the rest of the table. Italy haven’t beaten their opponents in 13 years and it would take a massive shock for them to start their Six Nations campaign with a win. Interim coach Franco Smith is the man tasked with turning this Italy around, but it won’t take much to call this tournament an improvement. Luca Morisi, Tommaso Allan, Sebastian Negri and Abraham Steyn are the only Italians who return to the starting line up from the last time these two sides met. That shows just how much the Italians have changed their approach as they look to bring in a new generation of Italian rugby.
Ireland (1/10) v Scotland (21/4) - 16:45 1st Feb 2020 - Aviva Stadium, Dublin
A couple of years ago, Ireland were the top team in the international rugby union. Since then, they struggled in the 2019 Six Nations and disappointingly exited the World Cup at the quarter final stage. That World Cup exit saw the end of Joe Schmidt’s reign as manager, and Andy Farrell was installed as his replacement. There’s 5 confirmed changes from the Irish side that lost to New Zealand, including a debut for Caelen Doris. Unlike some of the other nations, Ireland do seem to be keeping the core squad that has served them well. There isn’t a need for a large scale change and there is hope that a fresh coaching change can make Ireland dominant again.
There’s been a tumultuous start to the Six Nations for Scotland, mainly led by Finn Russell. It’s been rumoured that the fly half was spotted at the team bar, before ignoring teammates pleas to stop drinking and then failing to turn up to training on time. Russell has subsequently been dropped from the starting line up for the Ireland match, which immediately makes it a tougher match for the Scots. Similarly to Ireland, Scotland suffered a disappointing exit in the Pools of the 2019 World Cup. Expectations are low and any improvement from their 5th place finish last year will be a success.
France (7/5) v England (10/17) - 15:00 2nd Feb 2020 - Stade De France, Paris
The tie of the opening round is France v England at the Stade De France on Sunday. France themselves are arguably the team to watch during the 2020 Six Nations. With the Six Nations being described as the start of a new World Cup cycle, France are opting for youth over experience. In the 42 man initial squad, 19 of the players are uncapped and the average age of the squad is just 24. France have been dominating at younger levels, winning back to back World Cups, so the Six Nations could be a chance for a future star to emerge. Although they might not challenge for the title, France would be happy to sacrifice this trophy if it meant they could get experience for a new squad.
England are the pre tournament favourites for the 2020 Six Nations, but there is still reason to believe that England might struggle this year. There are 8 uncapped players in the squad, and more worryingly, no solid cover in the 8 or 9 positions. The squad is already missing a couple of key players through injuries, but a few more knocks could weaken the squad even further. Eddie Jones has mentioned in the build up to the tournament that he wants this squad to be known as the ‘greatest team that has ever played rugby’. Although they might be a while away from that, England have the best chance of walking to an easy Six Nations win.
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