February and March is the time of the year that Rugby Union fans always look forward to as this is when the Six Nations takes place. This prestigious competition, which has been going for more than a century now, sees England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Italy battle it out for the right to claim to be the best team in Europe. There is always some great rugby to watch throughout this tournament and plenty of rugby fans enjoy betting on it. In this article, you can find out more about this great competition and who the favourites are to lift the trophy.
The Structure of the Six Nations
This Rugby Union competition begins on the first weekend in February and comes to a completion on Super Saturday in March, usually on St. Patrick’s Day. The format of this tournament is really simple – all six teams play against each other once, which means that the event is made up of 15 matches in all. Home advantage is something that alternates each year, so if one year England take on Italy at Twickenham, the following year they will take on the Azzuri at the Stadio Olympicoin Rome.
Before 2017, two points were awarded to a team for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. For the 2017 version of the competition, it was announced that a new points system would be used, and this system is now used at the majority of big Rugby Union competitions. Teams are awarded four points for winning, two points for drawing, and no points for a defeat. However, if a team scores four tries and/or lose by fewer than seven points, they will get an additional bonus point. A team that wins the Grand Slam will be given three bonus points to ensure that they cannot finish with fewer points than anyone else.
Up until 1994, if two teams at the top of the table finished on the same number of points, then both would have been declared champions. However, from 1994 onwards, if two teams are tied at the top of the table, then the title will be awarded to the team with the better points difference. If the points difference is the same, then the side who scored the most tries in their five matches will be declared champions. If the two teams happen to be tied on tries too, then it is a shared championship.
The Wooden Spoon is a metaphorical trophy that is give to the side that finishes at the foot of the table. Since 2000, only England and Ireland have not finished at the bottom. Italy have been given the Wooden Spoon no fewer than 15 times and they have lost all of their matches in one tournament on 11 occasions.
The Favourites and Latest Odds
Like with all other sporting events, when a new Six Nations rolls around, there will always be a team that is the favourite to win, and this is what we are going to look at now. Below you can find a table with each team and the Six Nations outright odds that some of the best sports betting sites have given them to go on to lift the 6 Nations title. We would also like to note that these odds have been provided by betinireland.ie.
Team Bet365 William Hill Ladbrokes
France 6/4 6/4 11/8
England 5/2 5/2 9/4
Ireland 3/1 3/1 7/2
Wales 5/1 5/1 8/1
Scotland 9/1 9/1 10/1
Italy 999/1 999/1 999/1
So, as you can see from the table above, France are the favourites to go ahead and win the competition. They have a really exciting young team with plenty of talent in the shape of Antoine Dupont, Teddy Thomas, Damian Penaud, and Cameron Woki. In addition to this, they also have the advantage of playing both England and Ireland at the Stade de France, so it is no wonder that they are the favourites with the bookmakers.