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Six Nations 2016: What has changed for the teams since Rugby World Cup?

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 03 Feb 2016, 9:03 am

An interesting article here in the Telegraph it tells us exactly what has changed for the 6N teams since the world cup, they also have England as favourites to win it this year, what do you think ?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/12135581/Six-Nations-2016-What-has-changed-for-the-teams-since-Rugby-World-Cup.html

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 03 Feb 2016, 10:36 am

Its the Telegraph so nothing has changed and "Normal" service has been resumed (Until April of course) thumbsup

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 03 Feb 2016, 11:27 pm

Another interesting article on predictions and stats by Robert Kitson in the Guardian today

The beauty of the Six Nations is meant to be its unpredictability. So how come such a settled pattern exists going into the 2016 championship? Each of the last three post-World Cup tournaments has yielded a grand slam for a side who were not among the top two teams the previous season. With due respect to hard-pressed Italy, that seems to leave this season’s trophy destined to be won by either Wales, France or Scotland.

Admittedly there was a slight exception in 2000 when Clive Woodward’s England, having bowed out in the World Cup quarter-finals, came top after finishing second in the old Five Nations the previous year.



Latterly, though, it has been consistently simple. France in 2004 and Wales in 2008 and 2012 have swept all before them, having trailed in third, fifth and fourth respectively the year before.

Clearly this own-brand logarithm does not mean that Ireland, chasing an unprecedented hat-trick of outright titles, or a highly motivated England should completely abandon all hope. The opening weekend could yet see morale-enhancing wins for both nations that would hint at a successful campaign. But the stats do not lie and the trend is inescapable. There must be good reasons why Wales, above all, thrive in World Cup seasons while others are mostly stuck in regrouping mode.



Part of it is clearly down to Warren Gatland and his coaches. No one had a more brutal pre-World Cup fitness regime last year than Wales and the self-belief that engenders in the closing stages of tight games was once more evident in the autumn. On top of that, the benefits of being together for such an extended period of time seem to bring them together in a way that certain other teams find elusive. They are happy campers with a familiar squad, playing a well-grooved type of game at a time of the year which suits that style.

In both 2008 and 2012 it was enough to give them a flier, in the form of an away win at Twickenham and in Dublin respectively. This year they also kick off away, against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium; other than Wales v France and Italy v England it is the fixture with the highest incidence of away wins since the Six Nations was launched. It will also be refereed by Jérôme Garcès who has presided over five away victories in his last six championship games. If Irish fans are seeking a “homer”, Garcès is not their man.

So with Ireland lacking several injured key forwards, this could just be a decent time for Wales to cross the Irish Sea, particularly with Dan Biggar in fine form, Jonathan Davies back fit and memories of the World Cup win over England still fresh. After that, Wales have home games against Scotland and France before the trip to Twickenham and round things off against Italy, again at the newly titled Principality Stadium. Even Twickenham, for obvious reasons, will no longer be quite as daunting as it would previously have been. This time around there will be arguably more pressure on the hosts.

By then, for better or worse, England and Eddie Jones will also know slightly more about each other. Surely that is another underlying reason behind Wales’s post-World Cup success: England continually have a new coach trying to find his feet. No one disputes the Premiership is producing young players of promise; the problem has been selecting the right ones at the right time and drip-feeding them into a settled, winning national team. Arguably England’s keynote players over the next 12 months, for various reasons, will be Dylan Hartley, Kieran Brookes, George Ford, Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade. At present two of those are injured, Hartley and Brookes have had little rugby lately and Ford’s game has been mixed. Barring a truly exceptional act of alchemy by Steve Borthwick, England’s new forwards coach, it is easier to see them clicking through the gears next November rather than smashing all-comers over the next six weeks.


France’s new captain Guilhem Guirado will work with the new coach Guy Novès as the French look to get off to a winning start against Italy in Paris on Saturday Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA
Given how poor France were at the last World Cup – and taking into account they have not finished in the top half of the Six Nations since François Hollande became the president in 2012 (probably a coincidence but who knows?) – they would normally be a longer-term project, too. But Guy Novès’s team have perhaps the best draw of the lot, with two home games to start. All three of their Six Nations grand slams have come in even years – 2002, 2004 and 2010. By the time England visit Paris on the final weekend, it is quite possible the fixture will determine who finishes second in this year’s tournament.



Which leaves Italy – rarely has a squad appeared more certain wooden-spoonists – and Scotland. As only one post-war team have managed to win a grand slam after securing a wooden spoon the year before* (good quiz question, answer below) history is not entirely encouraging. But Scotland’s pack are steadily improving, they have some sharp attacking weapons and, if they tighten up their defence, a top-half finish is eminently attainable. Always assuming, of course, they can deliver on their first priority of sending England away from Murrayfield empty-handed.

Along the way, inevitably, there will be jarring notes as well as soaring hymns. For the Six Nations to be so pompously intransigent about future expansion, a shift towards springtime and pushing for more Friday night kick-offs demonstrates depressingly little interest in changing the on-field product for the better. If the rugby is mediocre after the inspiring spectacle of the World Cup, the northern hemisphere can hardly claim the moral high ground. So here’s to a great tournament with a final day as exhilarating as last year’s. And if there is a grand slam for Wales remember where you first heard it foretold.

RISING FROM THE ASHES
It is not so long ago that Orrell were a force in the English game and supplying players to the national team. The professional era has been less kind but more stable times finally lie ahead. For the first time since the club left their old Edge Hall Road ground almost a decade ago they have signed a lease on a permanent home, a 13-acre site which is destined to become a new community sports club. As warm-hearted, battling union flag-wavers on the doorstep of Wigan, they deserve everyone’s best wishes as they prepare to launch a fund-raising drive to ensure the new project’s long-term success.

ONE TO WATCH
Scotland v England. Eddie Jones’s first game in charge will be a test of everyone’s mettle. Scotland had the better World Cup and have been looking forward to this game for months, while England’s players are still learning precisely what Jones wants from them. The Scots have not won the Calcutta Cup since 2008 and haven’t scored a Six Nations try against England at Murrayfield since 2004. This is their best chance in a while to massage those grim statistics.

* Wales in 1950 is the answer.

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Post by Gwlad Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:36 am

LordDowlais wrote:An interesting article here in the Telegraph it tells us exactly what has changed for the 6N teams since the world cup, they also have England as favourites to win it this year, what do you think ?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/12135581/Six-Nations-2016-What-has-changed-for-the-teams-since-Rugby-World-Cup.html

England are always favorites right. Makes total sense. Because every year its the same story, that things are different this year etc etc and unsurprisingly, things are the same.

Well at least this year some things actually are different. But whether that translates on the pitch after the RWC is the question.

If it does after 2 weeks with a bunch of new guys and a core of recently defeated older guys, then alchemy is not the word i would choose, more like a miracle. But its not impossible.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 04 Feb 2016, 7:42 am

I am amazed that people still get all excited that an English paper installs England as the favourites, then feel the need to point out in detail why they shouldn't be.
If story's with questionable logic behind them get you wound up you may want to stop reading the papers.
(Yes me sugesting not to read stuff that you will find annoying while commenting on something I read and found annoying, is hypocrisy, but hey that's what forums are for)

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Post by Breadvan Thu 04 Feb 2016, 8:00 am

Agree carpet. The papers, some pundits and commentators make England favourites but that's their opinion. Its not what the common fan thinks, altho some seem to believe it is and what the media print is a direct link to our thoughts.
The only team that has not changed since October is Wales. Same Staff, you can name the team starting 15 straight off, you know the tactics.
England have new coach and capt, new players how will they perform?
Ireland have retirements and injuries
Can Scotland continue thier rwc form?
Noves in at France and the old cliche' of which France are turning up is as ever prevelant
Italy are well......Italy.


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Post by maestegmafia Thu 04 Feb 2016, 9:17 am

carpet baboon wrote:I am amazed that people still get all excited that an English paper installs England as the favourites, then feel the need to point out in detail why they shouldn't be.
If story's with questionable logic behind them get you  wound up you may want to stop reading the papers.
(Yes me sugesting not to read stuff that you will find annoying while commenting on something I read and found annoying, is hypocrisy, but hey that's what forums are for)

To be fair the telegraph did a poll and it is clear I the results that England are the readers favourites too.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 04 Feb 2016, 9:21 am

Yes England fans who read the telegraph belive that England will win. I'm sure Wales fans who read Wales online vote for Wales. Irish times readers in shock vote for Ireland to win.
It's the same every year. It just still takes me by suprise that the home country's media is discscused so much when each year it's the same.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Thu 04 Feb 2016, 9:22 am

England are as good a favourite as any side. Or as bad. We were all recently taught a lesson by the SH, so who's the best of the rest is a sad point for the pundits and papers. Who cares?
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Post by carpet baboon Thu 04 Feb 2016, 9:23 am

To be honest most of the journalists probably just change the date and a few players names and resubmit the previous year's article.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 04 Feb 2016, 9:27 am

carpet baboon wrote:To be honest most of the journalists probably just change the date and a few players names and resubmit the previous year's article.

there is a classic of this kind on the BBC website about the top 'hit men' in the 6N, with Lawes ranked no.1. There is a reasonable chance he won't make it onto the pitch.

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Post by Fanster Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:20 pm

I find it quite interesting, new coaches are renowned for success in recent seasons, see Schmidt and Gatland GS's. Lancaster certainly had a succesfull first season with a 2nd, and Cotter may not have got results but certainly turned a corner.

For me Jones or Noves will be succesfull, to what level who knows, but one will really struggle also IMO.

England still have a great playing core, something to prove after last year, and have a mindset of rarely losing to the likes of Scotland and Italy, this has kept them consistent over the last 4 years, I don't see that rapidly changing now, do I see a GS? No, do I see a wooden spoon? No, 2nd -4th is more than likely, I'd go with 3rd personally.

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Post by Fanster Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:21 pm

Breadvan wrote:Agree carpet. The papers, some pundits and commentators make England favourites but that's their opinion. Its not what the common fan thinks, altho some seem to believe it is and what the media print is a direct link to our thoughts.
The only team that has not changed since October is Wales. Same Staff, you can name the team starting 15 straight off, you know the tactics.
England have new coach and capt, new players how will they perform?
Ireland have retirements and injuries
Can Scotland continue thier rwc form?
Noves in at France and the old cliche' of which France are turning up is as ever prevelant
Italy are well......Italy.



Aren't Wales missing 2 FB's, a wing, centre and first choice 9? Isn't their front row in a bit of transition?

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Post by Shifty Thu 04 Feb 2016, 5:45 pm

If nothing has changed then why are England favorites, they haven't won it for ages! Erm
I'd say whomever wins between Wales and Ireland will probably win, at least I think Wales should beat Scotland, Italy and France all at home.
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Post by RubyGuby Thu 04 Feb 2016, 6:18 pm

I think Samson Lee has changed his pants since the RWC. Just the once but he has changed them 04.02.2016 thumbsup

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Post by Hoonercat Fri 05 Feb 2016, 10:34 am

The Telegraph 'experts' have Wales as clear favourites with England second. Ireland pretty much written off
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/12139894/six-nations-predictions.html?frame=3567325

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Post by RubyGuby Fri 05 Feb 2016, 5:08 pm

Hoonercat wrote:The Telegraph 'experts' have Wales as clear favourites with England second. Ireland pretty much written off
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/12139894/six-nations-predictions.html?frame=3567325

Well that's easy then another GS for Ireland for writing them off

Hug

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Post by Cowshot Sat 06 Feb 2016, 9:17 am

Seems to me you are seeing people's hopes. I certainly hope England will win but I'll feel more hopeful after we have safely disposed of Scotland.

Although we have the capacity to beat Scotland, they have a good side, a more settled coaching set up and a bit of good form. You most certainly do not write off a Scottish side under those circumstances, in my opinion. And I rate Laidlaw.

So not much has changed for Scotland - and that's a good thing; a lot has changed for England and we are yet to find out if it's a good thing or not...

Wales are the 6 Nations sedimentaries. Nothing has changed in millennia and they are forming by slow deposition. No-one has any doubt about any aspect of the Welsh team or how they will play. Any change stands out like flint in chalk.

Ireland just moved North. There's a chilly blast about this new Ireland side and the way Ulster have been this season, that's likely to be a good thing. Three Championship wins on the trot? Hell of an incentive...


Last edited by Cowshot on Sat 06 Feb 2016, 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by Poorfour Sat 06 Feb 2016, 10:29 am

All that will really have changed for England is the tactics. And since we were mostly agreed that the players were fine but the tactics, by the end, didn't work that should be a good thing. We'll find out soon enough.
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