As you may well know, no nation has ever won the Six Nations title outright in three consecutive years.
With the beginning of the 2018 event fast approaching, however, this as yet unattained feat is going to become a major focal point. Why? Because England has a legitimate chance to pull it off.
2016 Six Nations
To recap, England took the 2016 title for its first win in five years, at the time. The win was sealed in the fourth round with an assist from Scotland. And even though the Championship was sealed in round four it wasn’t necessarily a clear beginning to a multi-year run. While England went unbeaten during the 2016 run, it looked at times like a closely contested tournament, rather than one dominated by a particular team. For instance, Wales actually finished with the same scoring differential as England. Although, in fairness, this was largely down to an incredible last day in Rome.
2017 Six Nations
Last year, England was a clearer favourite, with strong odds from the beginning to win the event. At one point even betting firms noted that the English side was chasing an untarnished record in the 2017 Six Nations. Attempting back-to-back Grand Slams. While that wasn’t to be (they finished with one loss), the English did secure the title again, and, with all things considered, did so in relatively easy fashion. Possibly easier than in 2016.
2018 Six Nations
It’s perhaps inevitable that following consecutive title wins, England has been installed as the early betting favourite. Furthermore, however, the 2018 fixtures appear to be setting the English up for another run. England gets what should effectively be a tune-up match against Italy to open its Six Nations run, and will then face a Wales team that’s expected to be somewhat down from last year. England also gets to play Wales at Twickenham, which should make matters easier. Things really don’t get tricky until the third match, when the English will travel to play a Scottish side that could prove to be a tricky out.
With the opening two rounds looking to be in the favour of the English, they will have every chance to build on the last two years’ worth of momentum. Possibly even spark another title run. The mere fact that it’s never been done before make this third consecutive win seem like a long shot.
Looking at the competing squads and the road ahead for England, however, it actually feels fairly likely.
The question is, can they do it? What are your thoughts?
Author: The 1014 Rugby
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