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The 2023 Six Nations concludes on Saturday with matches in Edinburgh, Paris and Dublin. It has been another brilliant edition of the tournament and we go into the final round of matches with the top and bottom places still up for grabs! Scotland and England, in third and fourth place on 10 points, are the only teams who can not finish in either 1st or 6th. All four of the previous rounds have been full of entertainment and we expect Round 5 to deliver more of the same.
Read on as we explore the 2023 Six Nations possible outcomes and scenarios – will there be a Triple Crown or even a Grand Slam for Ireland? And will Italy end their run of seven Wooden Spoons? There are a number of permutations possible and we don’t have long until we will know the answers to these questions.
Six Nations possible winners: Ireland by far the most likely to triumph
Of all the 2023 Six Nations permutations, Ireland have a simple task to achieve their goal of only their fourth ever Grand Slam. If they beat England, by any score, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin then it is mission accomplished for the men in green. They come into this final round of fixtures with a four point lead and a points-difference advantage of +20 over second placed France who are the only team that can prevent an Ireland title.
France relying on a favour from England
Les Blues won the 2022 Six Nations and they are still battling hard to hold onto the title. Last week’s demolition of England at Twickenham was evidence of this! So here is what France needs to happen. Firstly, they must beat Wales at the Stade de France. If they do this but only score three tries then they will move onto 19 points, level with Ireland. They will then require England to win in Dublin with a combined 21 points swing to France across the two games. If that happens then France will be Champions. A simpler route to the title is for France to win and to score 4+ tries. Do that and all they need is an England win by one point in Dublin.
Race to avoid the Wooden Spoon: Wales’ fate in their own hands
After losing their first three games of the 2023 Six Nations, Wales were staring at the prospect of their first Wooden Spoon since 2003. However, a convincing win in Rome last weekend means they come into Round 5 with their fate in their own hands. It may be in their own hands but that doesn’t mean it will be easy, as Wales travel to Paris to complete their tournament. If they pull off an unlikely win then it is game over and the Welsh will avoid the Wooden Spoon. However, if Italy have pulled off an unlikely win of their own in Edinburgh earlier in the day, then the pressure will be on Wales to win or hold France to a draw. It must be said, that we have seen very little from Wales this season to indicate that they will return from Paris with anything!
Serial Wooden Spooners Italy In Need of an Unlikely Win
It has been a strange campaign for Italy who look likely to finish bottom yet again and with zero points but in reality that masks the fact that they have produced some very good performances along the way. Their big opportunity to avoid the Wooden Spoon was last week when they hosted Wales in Rome but, in spite of enjoying the lion’s share of possession, they were beaten 29-17.
So, Italy play in the earliest of the games on Saturday and must beat Scotland to give themselves a chance of finishing in fifth place. Although Scotland won their first two matches of this campaign, away at Twickenham and at home against Wales, they have since lost back to back games to Ireland and France. As a result, confidence will be a little dented and Italy may well be able to exploit this. Of all the five other teams in the Six Nations, Scotland are the team who Italy have beaten the most. They have got the better of them on seven previous occasions in the Six Nations, but their last win against them was back in February 2015.
England and Scotland are taking on the bit-part roles this weekend with Ireland, France, Wales and Italy all still with something to achieve.
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