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Six Nations prediction: Wales going to be tough to beat

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This year's Six Nations is eagerly anticipated. After a quite thrilling World Cup the Northern hemisphere teams will be looking to bounce back, after it was an all-Southern hemisphere semi-final.

There seemed to be a clear divide in class between the two hemisphere's and this year's Six Nations will be a great chance to show what these Northern hemisphere countries are really all about.

So what chance does each country have?

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England

After their world cup catastrophe; England have a new coach, new backroom staff and a new captain. However will Eddie Jones have enough time to gel all his new players, and his new style together in time?

This Six Nations may come to be too soon in the Jones era. However in terms of young, exciting talent England have got it in abundance. With new faces such as Elliot Daly, Maro Itoje, and Josh Beaumont all lighting up European rugby, England will surely fancy their chances whoever they come up against.

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However, they do not have a settled group of players who know each other's styles. Which is why they will continue their trend of being runners up and finish second.

Ireland

Ireland were on the wrong end of one of the best performances in the World Cup by Argentina. They were simply blown away, and subsequently knocked out of the tournament.

This has had a knock-on effect on Irish clubs, as not one has advanced to the quarter-finals of the European cup.

France v Ireland - Group D: Rugby World Cup 2015

Furthermore, this will be the first Six Nations without the great Paul O'Connell, which will automatically make them weaker. However, in Rory Best, they have a very fine player and someone who will be a very good captain.

Unfortunately, for Ireland this Six Nations is coming at a bad time with most of their top players struggling to find form at their clubs. Therefore, a third place finish is likely.

France

Like Ireland, this is a team who took a real battering in the World Cup quarter-finals at the hands of the All Blacks.

They are also a team who, like England not only have a new captain but a new coach too. There are good foundations being set up in French Rugby but the world class talent in Guy Noves' squad just doesn't seem to be present. This is why they could really struggle and could even end up finishing a very low fifth place.

RBS Six Nations Launch

Italy

This year nothing changes with Italy, potentially they could play a more expansive game because of the general impact that the World Cup has had on the sport as a whole, however, they are the weakest team in the tournament and so should pick up wooden spoon in sixth position.

Scotland:

Scotland arguably had the best Rugby World Cup campaign, and only lost to an Australian side that had already blown England away; on an incorrect penalty decision from Craig Joubert.

They have a really good team spirit, and crucially are not in a transition phase of any sort which could give them the advantage and prospect of finishing in a very good fourth.

Wales:

Wales have just come off the back of one of their most famous victories against England at Twickenham. Even with their injury list, they still managed to overcome the odds.

Now with players like Jonathan Davies back and even Rhys Webb possibly for the final couple of games; they have a really strong squad to compete against.

RBS Six Nations Launch

As with Scotland, crucially they are not in a transition phase and each member of the squad knows their individual role.

They have not only a very settled side but a group with great talent across the pitch; perhaps what Scotland are lacking.

Wales' squad also have the experience vital for big test matches and they also have a very experienced coach in Warren Gatland, who will be taking charge of his ninth Six Nations. All of these factors point towards a triumphant Welsh side this year.

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Topics:
Six Nations
Wales Rugby
England Rugby
Rugby Union

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