Franc – somewhat unbelievably – is looking for its first Six Nations title since 2010 as England visit Paris looking to ruin their campaign. The French would complete a Grand Slam with a win, but Ireland are just two points behind the French in the table and would claim the title themselves with a win over Scotland in Dublin and a faorable result at the Stade de France.
Here is a look at the matches that conclude this exciting tournament.
Wales VS Italy – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
The first match of the weekend is the one with the least on the line. That doesn’t mean there is nothing to play for here, however, with Wales having a legitimate shot at jumping to a third placed finish in the table with the expected bonus point win here. This holds true so long as the other results this weekend go their way. Italy are once again guarenteed the Wooden Spoon for finishing last, a place they have now held for the last seven tournaments.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made seven changes to the side that pushed France all the way in a 13-9 defeat last time out. Dan Biggar will make his 100th appearence, while Alun Wyn Jones is back from a shoulder injury to claim his 150th cap. The likes of Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert, and Tomas Francis are all rested, with Johnny McNicholl, Louis Rees-Zammit, and Dewi Lake among those coming in.
The Italians make just two changes to a squad that lost by 11 to Scotland. Ange Capuozzo – a diminutive try scoring threat who scored two last time out against the Scots – comes in at fullback with Edoardo Padovani shifting to the wing. Marco Fuser replaces Niccolo Cannone in the other change. Wales will win this, but there are signs of the Italians building a better overall squad. Take them to cover here at +27.5 with BetXchange (9/10) as Wales doesn’t have enough to play for and is resting some big guns.
Ireland VS Scotland – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
The big news here is that Finn Russell has been dropped to the bench in one of two changes from the team that beat Italy in Rome. Russell has been replace din the starting lineup by Edinburgh fly-half Blair Kinghorn in a move that some did see coming given the up and down nature of the Racing 92’s No. 10 in the touurnament this year. The other change to the starting XV sees Jonny Gray returning from injury at lock to replace Sam Skinner.
Scotland can finish as high as third in the table, but for Ireland they will want a bonus point win here to put the pressure on France before they face England. Andy Farrell has made three changes to his Ireland team in a game where Johnny Sexton becomes the joint sixth highest capped Ireland player in history as he pulls on the green shirt for the 105th time. Mack Hansen comes in for the injured Andrew Conway on the wing, Jack Conan is back at No. 8 with Caelan Dros flexing to the flank and Peter O’Mahony on the wing, while Iain Henderson is back in at lock to replace James Ryan. Ryan failed to recover from the concussion suffered in the incident that saw Charlie Ewels see red for England last time out.
France VS England – Stade de France, Saint-Denis (Paris)
This should be a fascinating match with both teams well up for the fight. England have to avoid a second consecutive fifth-placed finish – simply not good enough given the resources in the English game – while a Grand Slam the year before a World Cup would be a huge building block for a French side that might be the best on the planet right now.
England have a bunch of stars without an offensive plan. Eddie Jones has gone back to his basics, plugging Ben Youngs back in at scrum-half and giving Sam Underhill his first appearence for England since November 2021. He replaces the injured Tom Curry on the flank.George Furbank gets his chance in the No. 15 shirt with Freddie Steward of Leicester mving to the wing.
Damian Penaud is back on the wing for France after ecoving from Covid-19. It is notable that lock Romain Taofifenua is back on the bench as part of a 6/2 split between forwards and backs. This suggests France want to keep this physical and overpower England. The spread is 7.5 and I think it will be closer than that. Take England to cover.