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Ugly NZ U20 stamp angers neutrals

Harlequins mic up Team Manager

Chris Ashton bags three for Barbarians

Arnold walks after dangerous high shot

France U20s thrill home crowd in semi

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Behind the scenes at the 2010 Six Nations launch

Behind the scenes at the 2010 Six Nations launch

Its Test rugby season again as the 2010 Six Nations kicks off this weekend with England playing Wales, Ireland playing Italy, and Scotland playing France.

While Ireland were Grand Slam champions last year, some of the bookies have tipped France to take this years championship, with Ireland second and England third.

Ireland are without a doubt the side to beat though, as their form last season showed that the experienced outfit are now a powerful side with loads of talent and genuine class in a few key positions.

England are in somewhat of a rebuilding phase, once again, as their dismal string of injuries seems to be behind them. Theyre still missing experienced front rowers and one or two others, but have named a strong side for their match against Wales.

Its hard to know to expect, so well expect the unexpected from an English side that are hungry to perform.

Wales have had Lee Byrnes suspension overturned, so hell be a key figure in an exciting backline that will look to prove that they can play the type of rugby that we all saw a few seasons back.

Scotland will have their tails up after an impressive few games in the November Tests. Theyll be a tough nut to crack at home, and coach Andy Robinson will be instilling the faith in them that they perhaps lacked in the past.

Italy are missing talisman Sergio Parisse, so their true test will be how they come together as a side without him. As always theyll struggle with depth but have shown in recent years that they can be quite strong on their day.

France are, as always, totally unpredictable. Blessed with natural talent and power up front, theyll be really tough to beat at home, and will travel with confidence.

With all the hype that surrounds the tournament off the field each year, well be hoping that the rugby delivers in terms of quality. While we can expect things to be as tight and tense as always, lets hope that we get to see real ambition and attacking flair. Bring on Saturday.

We'll have more previews this week, as well as highlight clips throughout the tournament.

Time: 06:33
Note: Thanks to the BBC

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