ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Monday Aug 3, 2020

Why the resumption of the Six Nations is going to be on another level

October cannot come quickly enough for rugby fans in the northern hemisphere, that much is true. And what a period it is likely to be as well: the culmination of the delayed Six Nations and the newly-announced, but as yet un-named, eight-team tournament is sure to give us exactly what we’ve lacked for well over four months (and counting).

ADVERTISEMENT

The oldest rugby competition will return. How, and in what form, is another question of course as much has changed since Scotland’s match with France at Murrayfield on Sunday 8th March.

The resumption is still some way off, so knowing the answer to these questions is pretty much impossible, but here are some things to consider ahead of the 6 Nations restart.

What is likely to change?

Finn Russell back to steer Scots?

Unless you were living under a shell at the start of this year’s tournament, you will have struggled to avoid the Scotland/Finn Russell drama which resulted in the mercurial fly-half leaving (or being left out of) the squad on the eve of the first game with Ireland in Dublin.

Russell and head coach Gregor Townsend have since smoothed things over – indeed, they had already done so by the penultimate game against France – with the former tipped to return to the squad for the now-cancelled Summer Tests.

With Russell now potentially back in the Scotland mix, they will prepare for their final game against Wales with a lot more confidence to secure a first win in Cardiff since 2002 and their best finish of third since 2013.

Injury recovery completed for French talisman Antoine Dupont

There was a lot that went wrong for France in their defeat to Scotland in March. Mohammed Haouas saw red following his reckless punch on Jamie Ritchie. They lost their in-form out-half Romain Ntamack in the first half and more importantly, scrum-half Antoine Dupont at the end of the match.

Both would have missed the final game against Ireland, but with the disrupted calendar, they are injury free and potentially available again.

The other upside to the break is that France – who looked to have been hot favourites for a first Grand Slam since 2010 – have had forever and a day to study the Irish game plan.

ADVERTISEMENT

And with the petit général Dupont back fit, his partnership with Ntamack will be a crucial cog in the French team’s recovery from that day in Edinburgh.

Is it England’s title to lose?

On the face of it, you wouldn’t really argue to the contrary, would you? Italy hasn’t been able to show the sort of form it is capable of on its day this tournament, and England will be keen to rack up as many points as possible to pile the pressure on France. Points difference is the only thing separating the two sides at the top of the table, so a big score in the event of France beating Ireland is necessary.

Owen Farrell is the second highest points scorer of the tournament so far on 39, and England has proven over the years that it can score plenty of tries when required on the final weekend.

What’s the state of play?

As things stand, England are top of the table, tied on 13 points with France but ahead on points difference. Scotland lie third ahead of Ireland, who have a game in hand along with sixth-placed Italy. Wales sit in between Ireland and Italy, having lost three of their four games so far.

Ireland is set to face Italy on the weekend of the 24th October, with the following weekend hosting Super Saturday, with Wales playing Scotland, Italy taking on England in Rome and France hosting Ireland at the Stade de France in Paris.

How are teams going to approach the final games?

This year has been unique for many reasons, not least that in no other year has the 6 Nations finished so close to another tournament of the magnitude of the new eight-team competition which is set to replace the end-of-year internationals.

For those competing for the 6 Nations title, it is hard to believe that they would field anything other than a full-strength squad. If nothing else, it is the same number of games as in a normal Rugby World Cup for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy – if they were to reach the final. So, momentum is as key as a strong start.

ADVERTISEMENT

Realistically, Scotland, Wales and Italy are not in contention for the title. So, should their approach be different? Could we see some squads embracing new combinations, using untried players in key positions? It might be a worthwhile experiment.

RELATED VIEWING:

Related Articles

  • 30 WEEKS AGO

    Finn Russell suspended; misses Champions...

  • 30 WEEKS AGO

    Permutations explained as France aim to snatch...

  • 32 WEEKS AGO

    Crucial 6 Nations tries perfectly demonstrated...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 19 HOURS AGO

    WATCH: Quade Cooper stars in lovely Wallabies try with trademark backdoor pass

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Koroibete montage shows what Wallabies will miss after winger's shock exit

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Six minutes of Nick Tompkins highlights will leave fans questioning his lack of Test caps

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    These Adam Radwan highlights reels demonstrate why fans are so excited by young speedster

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 DAY AGO

    HEAD LOSS: The time Steyn clobbered Kolbe, saw yellow, then clapped the crowd

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Horror knock out a result of 'inadvisable' body position by 110kg Samoan number eight

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Barnes sends water boy to the bin after ridiculous scrap in Chiefs vs Wasps clash

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    High tackle Yellow card should have been Red, results in suspension for Gabriel Oghre

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The worst cases of tripping in modern professional rugby

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Wasps coaches handed one-week bans after misbehaving on the sidelines

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Re-live Danny Care’s crazy brain fade which sent Martin Johnson into a rage

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Six minutes of Nick Tompkins highlights will leave fans questioning his lack of Test caps

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Hat-trick of drop goals exposes potential weakness in new law change

View All

Funnies

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Erasmus celebrates Boks win over All Blacks in his UNDERWEAR

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Twenty years on since hilarious All Blacks howler almost gave Argentina famous test win

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Five minutes of Mike Phillips scrum half 'sh*thousery' is comedy gold....mostly

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Five minutes of Faf de Klerk on-pitch shenanigans is pure gold to watch

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Montoya calls All Blacks star a pu**y in hilarious head loss moment

View All

Amateur

  • 51 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 40 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 41 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

View All