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Six Nations recess: Recent history points towards English glory

| 20.02.2015

The Six Nations 2015 has already served up plenty of top-quality rugby and drama to match, but as the competition pauses for its rest weekend, the perfect opportunity presents itself to assess the markets.

Only two sides have retained a 100 per cent record and a chance at completing the Six Nations holy grail of the Grand Slam, and they face each other next.

Defending champions Ireland host an exciting England side in Dublin and it promises to be a cracker.

As it stands Stuart Lancaster’s men are still the favourites for a first tournament win since 2011 at 4/6, with the Grand Slam a 13/8 shot, despite being the away side for this crunch tie.

Meanwhile, Joe Schmidt’s experienced Irish outfit are given a 13/8 chance of retaining their title and a 7/2 chance of winning all five matches for a second time in Six Nations history.

And it is the recent past – not least their first two results of the 2015 edition – which may well point punters towards England ahead of their hosts in the aforementioned markets and the Triple Crown at 11/10 to boot.

Although Ireland were the only northern hemisphere side to enjoy a flawless Autumn International run, they’ve not started their defence playing their best rugby, only scoring 26 points against an Italian side England put 47 past.

Wales were stunned by England in the first game at Cardiff, while France proved thorny customers in Dublin during a tense 18-11 win in round two, where Jonny Sexton’s return to the Irish side as playmaker was the real highlight for the hosts.

The deciding factor in plumping for England over Ireland for major honours is their string of recent success over The Shamrock in this competition.

A narrow 13-10 Twickenham triumph 12 months ago was the third year in succession that the England have run out winners over their Grand Slam rivals.

While those who believe in omens should note that England’s last victorious Six Nations campaign began with a victory in Wales, before Italy were thumped at Twickenham.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.