The Six Nations Championship gets under way this weekend but despite coming into the competition as defending champions, England aren’t expected to come out on top this time around. Betfred make them 4/1 to retain the trophy while World Cup runners up France are outright favourites at 7/4 with Blue Square and Wales are a slightly chunkier 11/4 courtesy of Ladbrokes.
It looks to be between that trio and the value call are surely Warren Gatland’s resilient Welsh side, who enjoy home advantage against the French in week five and were unfortunate to lose to Les Bleus in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
BetVictor rate Wales at 15/2 to land the Grand Slam but it’s more likely that no team will manage that feat (8/11, William Hill), but despite facing a tricky trip to Twickenham, Gatland’s charges could secure the Triple Crown, an outcome Paddy Power price at 5/1.
As ever, Italy are emphatic favourites for the wooden spoon, at 4/7 via Betfred but the Azzurri picked up a victory against France in 2011 and could finish above Scotland, who have to travel to Rome and tempt at 3/1 (Stan James) to prop up the rest.
In the early handicap quotes meanwhile, Wales are again the stand out bet, at 10/11 when given a five-point start by Paddy Power as they head to Ireland.