2019 Six Nations: Team-by-team betting preview




There's just under eight weeks to go until the 2019 Six Nations Championship gets underway. France vs Wales kicks-off the tournament on Friday, February 1st with Scotland vs Italy and Ireland vs England playing on the Saturday.

The Irish are the current holders and Grand Slam winners after their perfect record in 2018 and Joe Schmidt's side will be favourites to go on and lift the trophy again in 2019. England will certainly fancy their chances of a seventh Six Nations success with France and Wales likely to be in the reckoning, if they can start the tournament strongly.

Scotland and Italy are expected to have a much tougher time of it all, however both sides have it in them to cause an upset along the way.

Here, we take a look at each team and explore their chances of winning the Rugby Six Nations:

Ireland

2018 has been quite the year for Irish rugby. Not satisfied with winning last year's tournament, Schmidt's men recorded wins over Australia (Summer Test) and New Zealand (Autumn Test), with the victory against the All Blacks being the first on home soil.

Many are tipping Ireland to win the World Cup in Japan in September 2019 on the strength of their 2018 form, and those aspirations will come closer to fruition if they can record back-to-back Six Nations wins.

The likes of Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and Tadhg Furlong will all be vital for Ireland's chances and with a crop of young stars demonstrating their worth on the international scene, it's hard to look past them.

To win outright: 5/6
Grand Slam: 5/2

England

Eddie Jones' side are expected to be the biggest threat to Ireland and they'll be eager to exact revenge after tasting defeat at Twickenham in the last game of the 2018 Six Nations. The 15-24 loss completed a poor tournament from England, but an improvement in results over the Summer and Autumn Tests has swung the pendulum back in their favour. Victories over Australia and South Africa in November demonstrated England's credentials and if they can fine-tune themselves further, expect the 2019 Six Nations opener against Ireland to be a classic.

To win outright: 3/1
Grand Slam: 8/1



Wales

Despite Ireland and England being tipped for Six Nations success, Wales have enjoyed a pretty stellar 2018 which will see them in contention. It would take a brave man to bet against Wales winning the tournament after tasting defeat just twice in the calendar year.

Admittedly, there's still room for improvement from Warren Gatland's side but if they can keep their best side fit for the tournament, they'll be in with a good chance.

Gatland can call upon the likes of Leigh Halfpenny, Alun Wyn Jones and Josh Navidi to enhance their chances of a first Six Nations success since 2013.

To win outright: 9/2
Grand Slam: 12/1

Scotland

Scotland will be aiming to leave their mark on the 2019 tournament after finishing third last time out.

Gregor Townsend's side are the current Calcutta Cup winners after they beat England 25-13 at Murrayfield, and although it's very unlikely they'll win the Six Nations, expect a fiery and passionate display from the Scots.

Huw Jones, Finn Russell and skipper John Barclay will likely be Scotland's key players once again and they'll be looking to retain the Calcutta Cup when they meet England at Twickenham on March 16th.

To win outright: 10/1
Grand Slam: 18/1

France

France head into the tournament after an indifferent 2018, which saw them finish fourth in the Six Nations and lose two of their last three Autumn Tests.

Those two defeats came against Fiji and South Africa and French fans will be hoping for a vastly improved 2019, starting with the Six Nations.

Although Jacques Brunel's side do contain a mixture of experienced players and young hopefuls, there appears to be a transitional period France are going through and another placid Six Nations showing is on the cards. Expect Kevin Gourdan, Antoine Dupont and Captain Guilhem Guirado to have a strong tournament for the five-time winners, though.

To win outright: 16/1
Grand Slam: 33/1



Italy

Ranked 15th in the world, Italy will once again feel the wrath of some of rugby union's finest sides, but they do have it in them to cause an upset along the way.

Previous Six Nations wins against France (22-21, 2011 and 23-18, 2013) and Ireland (22-15, 2013) demonstrate this and since Italy's introduction into the Six Nations in 2000, they have progressively improved.

Head coach Conor O'Shea will be confident his side can perform admirably when the tournament starts in February and much will hinge on the performances of their talismanic captain Sergio Parisse.

To win outright: 500/1
Grand Slam: 500/1
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