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Sport Six Nations: Final-round permutations explained ahead of Super Saturday

17:21  27 october  2020
17:21  27 october  2020 Source:   scotsman.com

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The 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship will reach its climax on Saturday – 237 days after it was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

a rugby player on a field © Ireland's win over Italy put them in the box seat to win the Six Nations.

With three games remaining on so-called ‘Super Saturday’, it promises to be a thrilling title race between Ireland, England and France.

a group of baseball players playing a football game © Scotland go to Wales on Saturday after impressing in the win over Georgia, with Darcy Graham scoring...

Here, we look at how things might pan out, with Wales entertaining Scotland, England visiting Italy and Ireland travelling to France.

Ireland

Ireland have control of the title’s destiny. If they beat France in Paris on Saturday night with a bonus point, Andy Farrell’s team will be crowned champions. Victory without a four-try bonus might still be enough, even if – as expected – England claim five points against Italy in Rome. Tied teams are separated by points difference, and Ireland are currently 23 points better off than England in that department. Ireland will also know exactly what they have to do, as the Stade de France encounter is Saturday’s final game.

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a group of people playing football on a field © France beat Wales in a friendly last weekend. The French host Ireland in the final Six Nations match...

England

Eddie Jones’ men need to see off Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in emphatic fashion. Realistically, England could require something like a 40-point winning margin or more, yet that is something they have managed on six previous occasions in the championship’s 20-year history. All England can do is complete their part of the job done then wait while France and Ireland get to grips with each other in Paris.


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France

France have been revitalised under new head coach Fabien Galthie, beating England and then Wales in Cardiff as they claimed three wins from their first four starts of this season’s Six Nations . Losing to Scotland last time out, though, dented their title chances. They warmed up for Ireland by easily seeing off Wales in a friendly last weekend, but they will effectively need a comprehensive bonus point win to deny England, should Les Bleus topple Ireland.

Permutations for the decisive weekend in this year’s delayed Six Nations Championship

  Permutations for the decisive weekend in this year’s delayed Six Nations Championship The 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship will reach its climax on Saturday – 237 days after it was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.This is how things might pan out, with Wales entertaining Scotland, England visiting Italy and Ireland travelling to France.

Scotland

Scotland’s distant title hopes disappeared with Ireland’s bonus point victory over Italy three days ago, but they will travel to Llanelli for an appointment with Wales in confident mood. They go into the match having easily seen off Georgia in a friendly last week, and will be bolstered by the return of Exeter Chiefs’ trophy double-winning stars Stuart Hogg, Jonny Gray and Sam Skinner. Scotland have not claimed an away win against Wales for 18 years, but they have every chance this weekend.

Wales

Wales, Grand Slam champions last year in head coach Warren Gatland’s final season at the helm, suffered a fourth successive defeat when they went down 38-21 to friendly opponents France three days ago. It is their worst results sequence since 2016, and while they cannot challenge for the Six Nations title, a win is essential on Saturday to halt losing momentum under head coach Wayne Pivac. Wales are certainly good enough to cut loose against any opponent, but the pressure is on.

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Italy

Italy are resigned to finishing bottom of the Six Nations for a 15th time, and they continue to make little headway against their Six Nations rivals. They have conceded 144 points and 20 tries in this season’s tournament, and face a Herculean task in preventing a landslide defeat when England arrive in Rome this weekend. With every sizeable Italy loss, so the Six Nations promotion and relegation debate screams louder at them.

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