There are six teams competing for the northern hemisphere nation’s premier competition but only one can be this year’s Six Nations winner.
This weekend will be the final round of the belated tournament. However, three teams – Scotland, Wales, and Italy – will not be able to contest the championship this year. Furthermore, a loss for any of the leading teams in contention would mean they would fall short in their quest to be the Six Nations champions.
Permutations to becoming your 2020 Six Nations winner
All making for a thrilling conclusion, with very little separating the sides, the title might come down to points difference if a clear Six Nations winner cannot be determined by Saturday evening.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) October 24, 2020
Ireland – Current 2020 Six Nations leader
Ireland is currently first with 14 points. They also have a +38 points differential, which is more than both England and France. However, they will have a tough time against France at Stade-de-France in Saint-Denis, on 31 October.
All three teams contending for 2020 Six Nations Championship have three wins and one loss each. The one thing Ireland has over England and France though is points differential. This means if England and Ireland end up with the same number of points, Ireland will win the championship.
This would also be the case if both teams earn the same points differential because Ireland holds a significant advantage in the next tiebreaker, which is ‘tries scored’ (14 to 9). Ireland must also try to get a bonus point against France. If Andy Farrell’s group can do this, it will be impossible for England to catch up to Ireland.
If Ireland wins the Six Nations championship, it would be their first championship since 2018.
England – Possible favourite of the tournament
England is currently second with 13 points in the championship. They will play their final game in the tournament at Stadio Olimpico in Rome on the same day. It is a must-win game for England.
A loss or draw means England will not win the 2020 Six Nations Championship. However, Italy has recorded 0 competition points in the tournament and has a horrible points differential of -105. As well, according to Paul Rees of The Guardian, Italy has lost 26 straight games in the tournament – making England possibly favourites for the title. Although, how that counts in an unprepared English side means the traveling squad must ‘keep their eyes on the prize’.
Eyes on the prize….
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 27, 2020
If England can run the score sheet with a big win, Eddie Jones’ men can get that extra bonus point and achieve a better points differential than Ireland (if Ireland wins against France). However, it is important to note that Ireland certainly has a more difficult route to a title. The French are no pushovers, as many presume the Italians to be so, it applies added pressure to the first-placed Irish side.
If England wins the Six Nations next week, it would be their first since 2017.
France – Perennial underdogs need French resistance
France, like England, has 13 points in the Six Nations championship. However, England has a slightly better points differential and that is why France is currently third (England is +15 while France is +13) in the 2020 Six Nations Championship. As mentioned before, France plays at home against top-ranked Ireland.
They will also need some help from Italy as the Ireland fixture will be extremely competitive. Furthermore, getting that crucial bonus point could be critical for whether France wins the championship or not. Especially true when England is facing a team that has not won a game in the 2020 Six Nations Championship, so the Les Bleus must play with a heightened attack, to score at least 30 points – and concede few, if any points, to Ireland this Saturday.
Nobody commits to attacking from depth quite as beautifully as the French do.
Standing flat can take away the defence's time to recover but giving time and space to your attackers can hurt defences too! pic.twitter.com/rog9fJL8AQ
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) October 24, 2020
Lastly, if France ends up with the same amount of points and an identical point differential as England, it would be determined by tries scored. France has the advantage as [after round four] they had scored 13 tries, compared to England’s nine according to Luke Baker. Although England have the recent form, and the last time France won the Six Nations Championship was in 2010.
It will take every ounce of French resistance to wrestle away the title yet, with the talent available to Fabien Galthié, you wouldn’t put it out of the realms of reality if an unlikely victory would make them your Six Nations winners for 2020.
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