We head into week two of the Tournament with the Home Nations facing each other in the two big games (apologies to France and Italy).
The chances are that the matches could hang on the boot straps of Leigh, Owen, Johnny and Greig – as both confrontations could be close – although I’m obviously hoping that Owen’s big problem will be fatigue from taking loads of conversions!
Predictions are always difficult in the 6 Nations as form can change in a week.
If the four sides play like they did last weekend it will be Ireland and England who end up victorious.
Wales will benefit from having Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins back, whilst Ireland will be delighted if talisman Paul O’Connell recovers in time.
England are going with the same 23 that were selected in Paris – I hope that Owen stays healthy as George Ford is not included. At some point Lancaster really needs to blood Ford and Anthony Watson – maybe against Italy in the final game?
Scotland have lost Sean Maitland but will be pleased that abrasive Jim Hamilton is still fit – they will need his aggression.
The chances are that the teams will not play as well (or badly) as they did last week, but I’m still going for Ireland and England to come out on top – Ireland just and England with a few to spare (after a real dog fight in the first half).
In Paris, France will avenge last season and overcome Italy (despite Parisse) fuelling their Grand Slam hopes before some tricky away fixtures.