Six nations

The posts are getting seriously heavy. Now an IMPORTANT question. What about the rugby six nations? France are favourites across the board, my lot only have Italy lower on bookie's boards. Who is going to win? How? Please give reasons rather than advance hurrahs!

Agree there Brian, it would only take a couple of victories over the others, and there is nothing like confidence in the game.

Yeah, reckon they are in with a shout but to split hairs to say which of four it could easiest be requires supernational powers. The Italian bit was about using shock tactics to stimulating the game back to the way it really roared a bit over a deace ago. The effect was that more countries began to play and the prelims for the next World Cup will look interesting for sure which could make it a real world sport in a while. For that it needs a few more really great players and a couple of teams who wipe the board internationally. The Italian play is still sloppy, but they are getting there and there are too many of them playing in other countries now at top level for them not to pick up in a while which will shock the other five when they get full broadside. You do not need to like them to know that.

Nope, don't like the Italians, their play, their attitude.... Wales it is and stays since SA isn't in the tournament

:-D ha bloody ha ha, nice one Stuart, please read "World Cup"... ;-)

Crikey Andrew, do you have a telly in the toilet ;)

Hint, hint. Go to see 'Un Jour mon Père viendra' in which the opening sequences for around 30 seconds include me in kilt including a close up of my bum, well the kilt anyway... I'll get the wifie tae tak a picture ortwa...

Have a good one ;-)

Burns Night in the Irish pub! Love it. Have a great night, and don't forget tae post a wee few piccies of ya in yer wee kiltie!

Because of the heavy betting on France but you are right because it is an opener year than most - makes it all the more interesting. NB as a Scot I am being quite clear about not much happening there. Back to brushing dog hair aff ma kilt fra the evening dae fra yon Burns Necht at yon Irish Pub in the naxt village...

Why would Ireland "surprise you" Brian? We have all four Irish teams in the Heineken Cup, three of whom (should that be "which"? :-) ) are also in the top six of the RaboDirect league. Leinster has won the Heineken Cup twice in the last couple of years. We have three teams in the H-Cup quarter finals, compared with 1 Welsh, 1 Scottish, 1 English and 1 French. All this from a country with a population of 4 million (+ 1.7 million when Northern Ireland is included for rugby purposes). Granted, some of those players are not eligible to play for Ireland, but there is a broad and excellent selection to draw from when the final team is named shortly.

So, hopefully, we will be able to produce much more than a surprise! Hope this doesn't put a "hex" on the Irish team! :-)

yes it would but as I said above, it'll take a few years more yet but they're definitely getting there

motorbikes eh - great fun but nothing but trouble when it all goes pear shaped. I managed to get up and about in months only to smash myself up again!!!

Italy will soon be up there with the other 5 nations, a few more years of their players playing elsewhere in europe and ...!

et vive le vélo ;-)

That sounds painful Andrew. I gave up playing shortly after leaving school, as I used to race motorcycles for my fun. I had a very nasty prang though while racing in Bath, and couldn't walk properly for 18 months. I had a lovely Pirelli tyre mark up my back though, where the idiot who knocked me off then ran me over ;-)

Cycling is also the only thing I do properly now, but with the French countryside, that's not a bad option.

Brian, Italy at 125/1, might be worth a tenner to place, as I agree they could well shock a few sides.

hey, everybody, whatever our allegiances wouldn't it be great if the Italians surprised everybody and walked it. That would liven the 'old firms' attitudes up and ensure the French and English would really talent scout for future line ups because of the utter humiliation. I shall nonetheless support my thistles...

I agree Ben, I think is is wide open this year, but I suspect Wales have a chance. I would never rule France or England out though, as they have so much talent to pick from. They just lack organisation on times, but that can change within a few matches.

To be honest I can't wait for it to start, I really enjoyed the world cup.

used to alternate between flanker and 3/4s (to add some weight to the line) but had to stop very early on, at just turned 20, as I pretty much wrote my knee off in a motorbike accident - they managed to replace the lateral ligament with cabron fibres etc but I have no anterior cruciate ligament as the op went on too long (3.5 hrs!), all that followed by a car accident 6 months later where I broke the same knee cap! Cycling is about the only sport I can still do full on at a reasonable club level. used to play a lot of squash too but the knee would be so painful for a couple of days after matches that I was forced to stop (surgeons told me never to play squash again too...!)

Because most other teams are not hot at present. England are a mess, Wales brave and aggressive but skills and Ireland may surprise us a bit.

Hooker myself, right in the middle and the nose to prove it. Played up until I was about 44, limped off and have only watched since. Used to come to your part of the world to see a particular team play great rugby... If I gambled it would be on France and of loyalty the Scots to upset everybody. The key is how many teams the Italians will beat with some of their new players who are normally in clubs out of their country... They may cost a few points where teams think they are a walkover. 125/1 but I would even back them for a place!!!!! :)

Really don't watch enough (read none) rugby outside France as I haven't got the time and it's not on French TV! But based on what I saw in the WC I think England have about as much chance as Italy at the moment, Scotland no can't see it, Ireland possible, Wales probably especially as they've got a score to settle with France but watching Top14 matches from time to time, especially Toulouse, when they get their game together it's a joy to see and difficult to match but I think Wales are hungrier and there's a lot of young blood that's fast and rather like France they play a good fast game.

But hey what do I know, I'm a fan but haven't played for decades and never get the time to watch games! Now ask me who's going to win the Tour...!