The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

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The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by tigertattie on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:39 am

With less that two weeks to go I thought it time to get a one size fits all thread to allow banterous exchanges boxing and neighbourly back slapping Hug  

The 2018 fixture schedule for the NatWest 6 Nations begins on Saturday, 3rd February 2018 with Wales and Scotland getting the first match underway at Principality Stadium in Cardiff followed by France against Ireland in Paris at the Stade de France, then Italy v England on Sunday, 4th February 2018 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The competition runs until 17th March 2018 when all three fixtures of Round 5 take place on the same day known as 'Super Saturday' which starts with Italy v Scotland in Rome, followed by England v Ireland at Twickenham Stadium and culminating in Wales v France back in Cardiff where things kicked off.

Schedule and kick off times (UK time)

ROUND ONE

Wales v Scotland: February 3, 2.15pm, Cardiff, BBC

France v Ireland: February 3, 4.45pm, Paris, BBC

Italy v England: February 4, 3pm, Rome, ITV.

ROUND TWO

Ireland v Italy: February 10, 2.15pm, Dublin, ITV

England v Wales: February 10, 4:45pm, London, ITV

Scotland v France: February 11, 3pm, Edinburgh, BBC

ROUND THREE

Frances v Italy: February 23, 8pm, Marseille, ITV

Ireland v Wales: February 24, 2.15pm, Dublin, BBC

Scotland v England: February 24, 4.45pm, Edinburgh, BBC

ROUND FOUR

Ireland v Scotland: March 10, 2.15pm, Dublin, ITV

France v England: March 10, 4:45pm, Paris, BBC

Wales v Italy: March 11, 3pm, Cardiff, BBC

ROUND FIVE

Italy v Scotland: March 17, 12:30pm, Rome, ITV

England v Ireland: March 17, 2:45pm, London, ITV

Wales v France: March 17, 5pm, Cardiff, BBC

Squads

A full breakdown of squads can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Six_Nations_Championship_squads

Odds (as of 22/01/18)
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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:41 am

Handy guide. Thanks for that Penfro.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:48 am

Leave it to a fecking Scot to start a homely all-in street fight in the city of Six fecking Nations.

Just because he has a team that are playing like lazer beams coming from TIE starfighters, he gets all cocky and starts the trench warfare slagging match early.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:56 am

So who do we think will pick up second place?

I have Ireland as favourites for it, I don't think the fixture list is as kind to Scotland this year, as well as they are playing. Would actually fancy Wales to finish above Scotland, playing them and France at home.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 11:10 am

Look...as always...there is a form book and there is bloody Wales.  

That's all I need to say about the 6N - this or any other year.

They've won a few parties of their own - big ones too - in 6N.  But overall, even if they are not at their best, they're always damn good enough to blow any team off the park at any moment in time and completely bamboozle the leader board, and kill off all our Grand Slam dreams.

I think Gatland will be mad enough (as usual) this term to kill off one or two favouritism tags hanging over the heads of one or two teams.

But England are in the driving seat.  I laugh at Eddie Jones pretending he thinks the world thinks his side don't have a chance this year...  Wot a mischievous lad, that Eddie Jones is.  I think I saw somewhere where every bookie joint has them down as favourites again.

Ireland MIGHT give it a fair good crack (if they're in the right mood for long enough)  BUT.... England WILL give it a fair crack, without a shadow of a doubt.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by tigertattie on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 11:37 am

Bookies have England either as even money or odds on.

Ireland are really short odds at around the 7/4 mark

For me, if England didn't have Ireland at Twickenham then I'd have England and Ireland as 50/50 for winning. Home advantage so often helps though.

I'm going to say that there will be no Grand Slam this year!
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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 11:44 am

tigertattie wrote:For me, if England didn't have Ireland at Twickenham then I'd have England and Ireland as 50/50 for winning.

I'd favour Ireland if that game was away.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 11:55 am

It'll be a very nervy 6N in the first games.  France a team with a brand new coach.  And we know the kind of bounces a team can get when a new boss shows up.  
Scotland and Wales ready to burn a hole in the field they play on with speed and va va voom; and England realising they have Italy first.  
Ultimately beatable still of course for a team like England but it will be the nature of their victory over Italy that will probably now be inevitably questioned.  If they make it look too easy, then that will be the concern.... that Italy weren't a tough enough start and calculations about true form can't be assessed until the second game.  If they struggle a bit, then that'll be a sign of vulnerability.  Vulnerability isn't a good colour on Eddie Jones.... he doesn't like showing it.

So from the start - land mines all over the place.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by lostinwales on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 12:24 pm

But England will play horribly in Italy. We'll win, but it will be a slog and the media will have a field day.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Poorfour on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 1:07 pm

Scottrf wrote:
tigertattie wrote:For me, if England didn't have Ireland at Twickenham then I'd have England and Ireland as 50/50 for winning.

I'd favour Ireland if that game was away.

Me too, though last season's game was the closest we've come in Dublin for a while, and that was missing a few key players. If England get their miscreants and crocks back on schedule, and can win in the meantime, they should still have enough with the schedule they've got. Scotland v England looks a very tasty game, though.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by RugbyFan182 on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:03 pm

I think England and Ireland have so much tension between them, trying to make a big statment leading up to the WC , that one side will slaughter the other. I’m just not sure what side will be doing the slaughtering yet! You heard it here first!

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 12:34 am

In order:

Wales (GS)
Ireland
Scotland
France
England
Italy

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Cyril on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 12:45 am

Laugh classic mikey!

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Cyril on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 12:52 am

To be fair, I think Wales will be 2nd after England.

England
Wales
France
Ireland
Scotland
Italy

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Nottswasp on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 1:58 am

Oh they finally dropped the RBS brand then from the 6 nations......thank God.

Bit of a cover up with RBS owning NatWest....but it's a start.


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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 7:47 am

mikey_dragon wrote:In order:

Wales (GS)
Ireland
Scotland
France
England
Italy

51/53

http://www.606v2.com/t65120-six-nations-final-leaderboard

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by chris_501 on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 7:55 am

Sometimes it will come down to the big injuries.

England are without B.Vunipola

Wales are without Jon Davies

Scotland are without WP Nel

Ireland are without Sean O'Brien

France are without Camille Lopez

Not sure about Italy.

It's always down to how those understudies will get on.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by compelling and rich on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 8:18 am

looking forward to this starting. got tickets to scotland away and ireland at home. the two games for me which will hinge on whether we win the tournament

always prefer the fixtures where we play ireland and wales at home. scotland away is looking a tougher fixture than in past seasons but normally these fixtures are as good as its gets for england. with our good home record compared to poor away record against the irish

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 9:36 am

Scotland are in good form but missing 9 front rower's for the first game (at least 8 for the second) and concerns about Taylor/Dunbar at 12. If we can compete at the scrum and have 1 of the 12's healthy, our backs/coaching should have too much for Wales and France. Can easily see Wales and France bullying us off the pitch though.

England (No GS)
Ireland
Scotland
France
Wales
Italy

Rugby pod was complaining how Marler missing makes a big difference...B Vunipola is a bigger issue. Ireland are healthy (relatively). They are fighting for 1st. Scotland, France and Wales are fighting for 3rd. Think Wales depends on how badly the Lions effect hits especially towards the back end of the tournament (when they play France hence giving them the benefit of a doubt).

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 5:14 pm


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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by bsando on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 8:38 pm

Can't wait!

England
Ireland
France
Scotland
Wales
Italy

Hopefully that won't be the table but my head says it will, heart says...

Ireland
Scotland
England
France
Wales
Italy

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by yappysnap on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 2:28 am

Am I right that France are without Picamoles? He carried them most of last year.

England could win a GS, could also lose to most of the rest. The Italy game will be ugly, the real start to the comp will be the week after.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 8:55 am

yappysnap wrote:Am I right that France are without Picamoles? He carried them most of last year.

England could win a GS, could also lose to most of the rest. The Italy game will be ugly, the real start to the comp will be the week after.

I don't think he's injured. Just Saints make average players into world class ones, and he's dipped since leaving Shocked

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Poorfour on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 9:35 am

The thing with France is that they are effectively where England were in Lancaster's first year of the 6N: new coach, new ethos and a big clearout of older players.

It's very hard to predict how it will turn out - Lancaster's lot came within a Walsh-assisted 7 points of tying with Wales at the top of the table that year. And then you have to add the France factor to it: they could be dire, they could be sublime and they can change from one to the other as fast as they can turn the ball over.


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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 10:36 am

Poorfour wrote:The thing with France is that they are effectively where England were in Lancaster's first year of the 6N: new coach, new ethos and a big clearout of older players.

It's very hard to predict how it will turn out - Lancaster's lot came within a Walsh-assisted 7 points of tying with Wales at the top of the table that year. And then you have to add the France factor to it: they could be dire, they could be sublime and they can change from one to the other as fast as they can turn the ball over.


I'll settle for first game - dire.  Second game - sublime.  And thereafter, they can mix it up as they please.... Whistle

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 10:56 am

Scottrf wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Am I right that France are without Picamoles? He carried them most of last year.

England could win a GS, could also lose to most of the rest. The Italy game will be ugly, the real start to the comp will be the week after.

I don't think he's injured. Just Saints make average players into world class ones, and he's dipped since leaving Shocked

Kieran Brookes disagrees.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 11:03 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Am I right that France are without Picamoles? He carried them most of last year.

England could win a GS, could also lose to most of the rest. The Italy game will be ugly, the real start to the comp will be the week after.

I don't think he's injured. Just Saints make average players into world class ones, and he's dipped since leaving Shocked

Kieran Brookes disagrees.

I was being sarcastic. Your radar is still off Wink Picamoles was pretty good when we signed him.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 11:06 am

I did get that Scott.....you're a bit touchy today, have a twix or something Wink

Picamoles is awesome, France are missing a trick by not picking him.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by whocares on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 1:09 pm

Picamoles is awesome when fit. Am starting to believe the rumours that the real Picamoles is still at Northampton while they sent some sort of evil lazy clone of him to Montpelier.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 1:15 pm

Lazy really? I was wondering why he wasn't performing because it wasn't like we used him well. World class with no support. Best offloading and perhaps all round 8 in the world when we had him imo (with Read).

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by whocares on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 1:26 pm

Agree if we great with you guys. Even improved there which is why his current poor form is even more shocking.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by TJ on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 1:54 pm

I expect this to go pretty much by the form book

England
Ireland
Scotland
Wales
France
Italy

I doubt a grand slam. I doubt Scotland will beat England but its far from impossible as it has seemed in the past

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by R!skysports on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:23 pm

I may be the only one, but I think we will be fighting it out at the bottom this year. We are not a team designed for the nations style of slugfest rugby.

You can not hope to compete with 9 front rowers out at the START with our resources. We saw last year, if we don't get parity in the scrum, we are stuffed - and that has been backed up when Glasgow plays teams that bully us. We have a 100 year old coming into hooker  - it could get real messy

Wales are set up for NH rugby, England have such depth (even if the twit (mean in a nice way) Eddie and the media keep bleating how unfair it is they have ;lost a couple of players.). Think France will be much better this year. New coach, fresher players and no Lions hangover on injuries

England
Ireland
France
Wales
Scotland
Italy

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by cascough on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:27 pm

R!skysports wrote:Eddie and the media keep bleating how unfair it is they have ;lost a couple of players.).


To be fair, I think this was a joke? The video I've seen certainly plays that way, although the BBC didn't help by adding the headline "England have got no chance" to the video.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:35 pm

R!skysports wrote:I may be the only one, but I think we will be fighting it out at the bottom this year. We are not a team designed for the  nations style of slugfest rugby.

You can not hope to compete with 9 front rowers out at the START with our resources. We saw last year, if we don't get parity in the scrum, we are stuffed - and that has been backed up when Glasgow plays teams that bully us. We have a 100 year old coming into hooker  - it could get real messy

Wales are set up for NH rugby, England have such depth (even if the twit (mean in a nice way) Eddie and the media keep bleating how unfair it is they have ;lost a couple of players.). Think France will be much better this year. New coach, fresher players and no Lions hangover on injuries

England
Ireland
France
Wales
Scotland
Italy

I'm certainly more on your side than those claiming we can win the fecking thing, although to be fair that's mainly coming from the media and not within the camp (or much on here). I'm probably not as pessimistic as you though, although I am very worried about the front row. Townsend never worked out how to beat the big teams when he was second best up front when he was in charge of Glasgow, and I worry that we'll have the same failures this 6N.

I think 2 wins for Scotland is the bare minimum - it would be disappointing given our recent success but we've got to be realistic. It would mean beating Italy and either winning against Wales or France, both or which are by no means easy games or guaranteed wins. I'm just assuming we'll lose to Ireland and England although you never know!

3 wins would be an incredible achivement given we only have 2 home games, anything more than that would be utter dreamland.

The saving grace for Scotland is that the schedule is kind to us this year - we have 8 days between Wales and France then a week off before and after England. Given how attritional last year's games against England and France we we'll definitely need the recovery time.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:43 pm

Ireland (slam)  They have players and a squad now strong enough (on paper) to be consistent enough in ruthlessness to win titles.  So I have to afford them the belief and say this is one of the few years I feel confident that they can get the whole deal.

England - just falling short and losing a game.
Wales - just rising from the flames yet again and proving that 6N is their favourite yoyo competition - one year very bad, the next year perhaps a Slam.
Scotland - I fully expect them to be very good but maybe a year too early for the full assault on 6N
Italy.  They'll probably end up 6th again and only because there is no 7th spot to home them yet.


Could of course be a completely different finish and I won't be surprised too much by any conclusion unless Italy win the Championship... but that's the initial hunch anyway.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:44 pm

SecretFly wrote:Ireland (slam)  They have players and a squad now strong enough (on paper) to be consistent enough in ruthlessness to win titles.  So I have to afford them the belief and say this is one of the few years I feel confident that they can get the whole deal.

England - just falling short and losing a game.
Wales - just rising from the flames yet again and proving that 6N is their favourite yoyo competition - one year very bad, the next year perhaps a Slam.
Scotland - I fully expect them to be very good but maybe a year too early for the full assault on 6N
Italy.  They'll probably end up 6th again and only because there is no 7th spot to home them yet.


Could of course be a completely different finish and I won't be surprised too much by any conclusion unless Italy win the Championship... but that's the initial hunch anyway.

France literally unpredictable.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:48 pm

Laugh

France - mustn't have turned up after Lporte goes to jail Whistle

No...I meant to drop France in below Scotland. Again, I think they'll surprising play some nice stuff but not consistently enough to get at the better structured teams.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by whocares on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 11:06 pm

France will only win 2 games anyway : Italy and ... (possibly) England who will get frustrated and lose 8-6 without any fit props under sh!tt! weather conditions. English players morale will be so low that the inevitable loss against a solid Irish side the following week is almost cast in stone ...

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by R!skysports on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 10:42 am

Sad to hear Eddie Jones lower the tone in the 606 pod cast last night. Comes across as a very unpleasant person


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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 11:17 am

R!skysports wrote:Sad to hear Eddie Jones lower the tone in the 606 pod cast last night. Comes across as a very unpleasant person


Like people have been saying on other threads. Eddie Jones is Eddie Jones. He's been at his version of rugby for a long time. I remember looking at him in a press conference with the Captain of the Japanese Nation side when he coached them. After a bad day at the office on the field, he laid into his own players, called them lightweight and too soft.... really destroyed them in public (and people say he loves to take pressure off his players).... and when the disbelieving captain beside him kinda laughed a little out of sheer nervousness and embarrassment, Eddie honed in on him and reprimanded him, telling him it isn't funny, asking the media did they want him to leave the job, that he'd do it immediately on a whim...it wasn't funny. grrrrr

And that's Eddie. Raw in the pure Australian sense of the word with a love of being seen to tell it straight without any need for diplomacy.

If you take him seriously then he'll get his pound of flesh in psychological terms. If you treat his performances as entertainment, then he's quite funny but powerless in trying to plant the seeds in your head. I'd assume most coaches choose not to listen to him. His speeches are for the fans and media.


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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by lostinwales on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 12:58 pm

So when do all the squads get published?

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 1:00 pm

lostinwales wrote:So when do all the squads get published?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Six_Nations_Championship_squads

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by lostinwales on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 2:20 pm

Scottrf wrote:
lostinwales wrote:So when do all the squads get published?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Six_Nations_Championship_squads

I was thinking of this weekend's teams but I can see where I went wrong Smile

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Scottrf on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 2:23 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
lostinwales wrote:So when do all the squads get published?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Six_Nations_Championship_squads

I was thinking of this weekend's teams but I can see where I went wrong Smile

Oh the 23's? Thursday morning I expect. Potentially Friday for England.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 5:23 pm

The Welsh team's announced tomorrow, apparently.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by emack2 on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 6:17 pm

The 6Ns may or may not be the best completion ,but on any given day any of the 6 sides can beat another.
BUT what do you go on when selections are involved the AI`s were told have no bearing,presumeably because
club means more importance than the test side then.
It doesn't follow that who was successful in2016/17 will be so this year,club form? then France should walk
it except.Only about 40 percent players are qualified,the 4SH sides could put together NH based squads
which could easily win it if entered.
All except NZ would probably be stronger,and that`s debateable with all the players coming north for cash

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 6:38 pm

Easily win the 6n. Lol.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by mid_gen on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 8:31 pm

High scoring Wales vs Scotland, but Scotland's higher tempo and better finishing wins the day.

France to frustrate Ireland, low scoring game in France's favour? You never know with the French. Most likely a solid Ireland win. Have a feeling injuries to Ireland early on in the campaign may be a signifiant factor and we know the French like a good smash up.

England to receive an absolute bollocking from EJ prior to kick off and not mess around putting Italy to the sword (instead of the usual laboured opening game). A good, improved effort from Italy but outclassed.

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

Post by SecretFly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 8:57 pm

mid_gen wrote:High scoring Wales vs Scotland, but Scotland's higher tempo and better finishing wins the day.

France to frustrate Ireland, low scoring game in France's favour? You never know with the French. Most likely a solid Ireland win. Have a feeling injuries to Ireland early on in the campaign may be a signifiant factor and we know the French like a good smash up.

England to receive an absolute bollocking from EJ prior to kick off and not mess around putting Italy to the sword (instead of the usual laboured opening game). A good, improved effort from Italy but outclassed.

Good thinking, gen.  I mean the logic is reasonable all round even if I only agree fully with one of those sections.

I agree fully with the England comment.  I think Italy are going to be destroyed this time.  I think England might score heavily even in the first half.  I just think Jones is in a mood to prove he's the world's greatest evil genius once again and sides like Italy aren't going to be toyed with no more.

I think Gatland will want to put Townsend in his place and he'll have his Welsh Scarlet boys ready to take full advantage of the noise that can be generated at the Millennium if the Welsh team play a game that satisfies the audience.  If they're both close at the finish, the Welsh always have the passion to do a few surges of adrenalin to get over the line.

Ireland, if they pick up injuries to regulars?................... well let's just say that I think we virtually always play a more high tempo attacking game with 'lesser' players on the field.  It's a gameplan most of us have been calling for, a game Schmidt doesn't seem to overly trust anymore from the beginning of a game but a gameplan we mostly use in the second half anyway to finish off sides.  So, in short, I think some fans would be excited that Ireland might have to change strategy from boring and safe.  

Anyway, the game itself.... yes, possibly a very bloody affair but this time I think Ireland are bringing more attacking intent into games - and it's our habitual lack of attacking minutes that usually keeps teams like France in a mood to keep trying things themselves.  We do too much defence and give teams breathers and a renewal of belief.
Of course, nobody again knows what kind of France will show up but we'll all be surprised if they work like clockwork under their new ex-Italian coach

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Re: The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations - Rugby's Greatest Championship

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