Six Nations Preview: Weekend 3


ByTheMinute Create A Story

Hello friends, after a weekend off, it's time for the third weekend in the Six Nations. Often called moving weekend, there are 2 pivotal games tomorrow before England play on Sunday, Rob Sutton here to guide you the weekend's action.

Scotland v Wales, Saturday, 2.25pm, BBC Both teams have a win and a defeat from their first two games and the loser here will surely be out of contention for the Championship. Scotland are without a win in this fixture since 2007 with Wales winning on their last 4 trips to Murrayfield.

Team News: Scotland were the walking wounded after Round 2 and Vern Cotter has been forced into 5 changes. The most notable absentee is Greig Laidlaw who is replaced by Ali Price while John Barclay takes over as captain. Wales have made just one change from the England game, George North is back replacing Alex Cuthbert.

Prediction: It is going to be interesting to see how Wales recover after the loss to England, it was a game they really should have won. For this Championship to be considered a success, Scotland really need to win this one and if they can play with pace, Wales will struggle to live with them Scotland by 5.

Ireland v France, Saturday, 4.50pm, ITV Another game where the loser will most likely see their Championship hopes disappear. Ireland ran in 63 points in Rome in the last round while France edged out Scotland. France have only beaten Ireland once since the 2011 World Cup, however there have been 2 draws in that time.

Team news: He is fit at last, Johnny Sextion returns for Ireland despite not playing for 6 weeks, Paddy Jackson might count himself a bit unlucky to have been dropped. France have been forced into a couple of changes with Goujon and Vakatawa out, meaning a return to the wing for Yohann Huget for the first time since his diving antics in the World Cup.

Prediction: It's a boring old cliche but this one really does depend on what France turns up, if they can finally travel then they can cause Ireland problems. The Irish however looked excellent ball in hand against Italy and in their first home game of the Championship, they should have too much Ireland by 12

England v Italy, Sunday, 3pm, ITV Played 22, won 22, that is England's record all time against Italy. It is hard to see past that run continuing on Sunday as England will build towards their crunch games with Scotland and Ireland. Italy have conceded 40,47 & 52 points on their last visits to Twickenham.

Team news Four changes for England sees Danny Care return at scrum half for the out of form Ben Youngs, James Haskell gets a go from the start and Ben Te'o is rewarded for impacts off the bench against France and Wales. 4 changes for Italy also, the headline being the re-call after 18 months without a cap for fly half Tommaso Allan.

Prediction It's the home banker to end all home bankers this one. Italy are looking more and more hapless as the Championship goes on and England always seem to find a way to win, Eddie Jones will be looking though for a ruthless 80 minute performance from his players England by 35-40.