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?

The 1014 Rugby

Author: The 1014 Rugby

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Depends on what Eddie Jones wants to achieve, with New Zealand developing incredible depth across their entire squad. England definitely needs to create an equally strong line up with a Plan B, C, D and F
    It is easy to blood new players against weak opposition, but you can only identify great players and create depth against strong teams.
    The key I think with be the Irish games, and will be a good indication on each teams strengths.

  2. Good article for discussion. An interesting point about the schedule for England is that all their opponents will come off a home game in the previous week (apart from Italy in the first game obviously). And last year I think, every fixture outside of England and Italy, the home team won (correct me if I’m wrong). So it is likely that England will be up against teams that are in-form coming off a home victory each game.

    Also, 13 players are missing at the start, which disrupts preparation time for those that will join later on. If England can still win this 6 nations, the achievement will be even greater than what “3 consecutive 6 nations” might sound like.

  3. Let’s start with some serious stuff 😃

    I really Think it’s not about what eddie jones wants to do but what scmhidt wants to do

    The Irish side can win the tournament but will it be fine with the WC schedule?

    The irish club teams are crashing their opposition regularly, leinster above all, meanwhile just One english club qualified for the champions cup QF

    The game between ireland and england Will definetely be a cracker, a must watch

    • And it’s then also about what the Irish players want to do. Beating England is normally high up on their to do lists and to beat them on their own patch at the end would be quite the statement. An opportunity to play a team ranked higher than you is always one with more incentive. If you saw on the lions tour there was a bit of banter about who had won a grand slam. The Irish lads are hungry again. The English want payback from last year. It’s going to be a cracker.

    • I don’t think English teams’ form in Europe will show much about how the national team play. Wasps were 28-12 up with 15 mins left against Quins, win that and they would top the group. Exeter should have won in Dublin (Even Brian O’Driscoll says so!) which would have put them through. Bath would have been through if they’d managed a try bonus point in their first game against Treviso, although that would have been at Saracens’ expense. Although Saracens were extremely close to winning away at Clermont too. The point is the English teams weren’t as bad as people make out, things just didn’t fall their way this year. They were maybe 5% off the pace of the Celts and better French teams, it happens.

  4. Very good read, I feel it will be a 3 way battle for the title this year between England, Ireland and Scotland. England are strong favourites and rightfully so. The Irish you can never rule out. If Scotland can carry on there autumn form into Cardiff Vs a struggling Wales side and you would expect them to also beat France. I think they could keep it going and go all the way.

  5. I think England are favouries as they have Ireland at Twickenham & Ireland have to travel to Paris (Ireland have a shocking record at Twickenham & not much better in Paris, as bad as FRance are at the moment), however the destinationof the championship may hinge on how well England have gone in thier previous games. Scotland at Murreyfield looks tricky regardless how Scotland will have played in previous games. England also seem to have the greater strength in depth, although Ireland are not far behindbut must be keeping thier fingers crossed that Sexton & Murraystay fit.
    Cheers
    Rob

  6. Can They do it? Yes
    Will it be easy? Not if the Celts have anything to do with it!
    Will they do it? Only time will tell and it will probably be decided on points difference!

    Good article, getting edgy waiting for that kick off in Cardiff. For me that game will decide whether it’s Scotland or Wales are challenging England and Ireland for the top spot on the last weekend.

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