Can England win in Paris? John Inverdale has a feeling…
John Inverdale shares his thoughts ahead of Super Saturday.
All you want heading into the last weekend of the Six Nations is that there is something left to play for.
And with France facing England and Ireland hosting Scotland, the title is still up for grabs.
Reflections on the tournament
There have been some great tries, but I would say there hasn’t been too many great matches. France and Ireland is probably the exception.
Scotland have underperformed, Wales have been erratic and lacked pizzazz, especially in the back division, and England have played better with 14.
One or two French players have really sparkled, but they showed a more pragmatic side last weekend against Wales. That was a little disappointing as I was hoping France would show everyone what they could do, but I guess that’s a sign of a winning team.
I have also actually been very encouraged by elements of Italy’s play. It is frustrating not seeing them win, but they have scored some decent tries and their determination and resilience has definitely gone up a notch.
If the Six Nations is truly a European competition, it is crucial that everything is done to make Italy a better side. We go into the final weekend with only two games that matter, which is a little disappointing.
Reflections on the final weekend
Despite Italy’s improvements, Wales, led by the amazing bionic man Alun Wyn Jones, will have enough to win.
And I am sure Ireland will beat Scotland as they are simply ruthless at the Aviva.
That just leaves the crunch game with England travelling to take on the French.
I have a funny feeling that England can win in Paris. It might simply be the belligerence of Eddie Jones and some of his players – Maro Itoje and Jamie George for example.
They will head into the game hearing all the flak that has been flying about them finishing fifth once again and losing to France who would then go on to win the Grand Slam. England will want to show some of their critics what they can do – which could mean Ireland lifting the trophy.
As with any Six Nations, there has been plenty of drama. And while this final weekend is not quite a crescendo, it’s probably whatever is one down from a crescendo!
Here’s to an exciting weekend ahead.