Six Nations Rugby – Betting Preview – Richard Shaw Wright – France v Ireland
It's February and after being on the bandwagon during the Rugby Union World Cup, many will be getting back on it again as the Six Nations gets underway this weekend and we start in France.
Hosts of that World Cup, of course, as they open the tournament against defending champions Ireland in Marseille and I think it's fair to say that both had disappointing tournaments last autumn, with both going in among the favourites and neither reaching the final itself, France lost to champions South Africa at the quarter final stage.
That's where Ireland were beaten as well by runners up New Zealand.
It's an interesting time for Ireland without Johnny Sexton after his retirement, he scored 35 points for the Irish in the 2023 Six Nations tournament and they'll miss that along with his leadership and experience, of course.
It's an interesting time for France too. They’re without Antoine DuPont for the tournament as well. He's concentrating on the Sevens Event at the Olympics this summer. Which is why the French won't be playing in Paris during this year's Six Nations.
In what should be a close game, I'd not usually take a short price try scorer, but with six in the World Cup and top scoring in the Six Nations last year with five, it's difficult to ignore Damian Penaud for the home side here and having scored five in the World Cup too, it's hard to look past Bundy Aki, either for Ireland a combination of the pair would also take the eye.
First, scoring play being a France penalty as its odds against certainly appeals and I'll be siding with the home side on the handicap here, which at time of recordings around the -3 mark and I’m not averse to the handicap tie there as well.
And as we're taking them to win here in what you would suggest would be the toughest match they'll face back in France in the tournament outrights with Penaud to be the top try scorer seems to just make sense, especially not just two sides playing on Friday, being in some kind of transitional stage,
France to win and France to win the Six Nations.