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The 2022 Six Nations championship is almost upon us and the pre-tournament odds suggest we’re in for one of the closest tournaments in years. Bookmakers can hardly separate leading trio of France, England and Ireland. At freebet.com we’ll look at where the competition could be won and lost, providing odds from our betting partners at Betfred.
Last year’s runners-up, France are the team to beat this year. Les Bleus endured a typically ‘French’ 2021, battling with inconsistency throughout the year. They may have deprived Wales of a Grand Slam by claiming a 32-30 win in Paris on the final weekend but defeats to both Scotland and England ensured the Welsh still won the Six Nations championship.
In the autumn series France won three from three, most notably their impressive 40-25 win over New Zealand.
The French also posses the world’s best player in number nine, Antoine Dupont. The reigning World Rugby Player of the Year was crowned Six Nations Player of the Tournament in 2021 and he’s arguably improved since! The scrum-half won a Top 14 and European Rugby Champions Cup double with Toulouse last season and could the the star of the Six Nations again this year.
The fixtures have been kind to France, offering a favourable home tie against Italy before taking on Ireland in Paris in week two. Two wins from two should give France the momentum needed to get through back-to-back away games at Scotland and Wales before closing out the tournament back at the Stade de France against England. At 10/3, a first French Grand Slam since 2010 could be a great bet.
England’s hopes of a fourth Six Nations title in seven years have been handed a blow after captain, Owen Farrell was ruled out through injury. Farrell’s absence further weakens an incredibly inexperienced England squad. Over half of the backs in Eddie Jones’ training squad have never appeared in the Six Nations.
A trip to Murrayfield in week one will be a baptism of fire for this new-look England squad. If they can come through that Scotland game unscathed they could become realistic challengers to France’s chances of winning the tournament.
Ireland are ticking along nicely under Andy Farrell and will be tournament dark-horses for many. However, with matches against both England and France set to be played away from home, a Grand Slam may be a step too far for the Irish. If they can claim a win at one of Twickenham or Stade de France they could be in contention to win the the tournament outright.
Last year’s winners, Wales are expected to struggle in 2022. Wayne Pivac’s side start away at Ireland and don’t have the greatest record in Dublin. If they lose at the Aviva Stadium then it could be a long campaign for the injury-hit Welsh squad. However, if they get a result in Ireland then who knows! Back-to-back matches against England and France right in the middle of the competition could make or break a threadbare Welsh squad.
Six Nations Championship odds
- France: 11/8
- England: 11/4
- Ireland: 11/4
- Scotland: 10/1
- Wales: 12/1
- Italy: 500/1
Grand Slam odds
- No Grand Slam Winner: 8/11
- France: 10/3
- Ireland: 13/2
- England: 7/1
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