Six Nations Odds : Ireland and Wales clash as rivalry weekend gets underway
Latest Six Nations odds, with Ireland v Wales, Scotland v England the highlight of the weekend.
Ireland and Wales are both rated as evens for their clash at the Aviva Stadium as England prepare to take on Scotland for the Calcutta Cup on Saturday evening.
Both sides are seen as two of the top three contenders for the Six Nations in 2014 and a win would definitely put one of these two teams on the right course.
Ireland got their campaign off to a strong start with a straightforward 28-6 victory last Sunday against Scotland sending them to the top of the pile.
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Ireland 5/6, Draw 22/1, Wales 5/4
Scotland 5/1, Draw 33/1, England 1/5
France 1/19, Draw 66/1, Ital y6/1
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The big news for the hosts is that Paul O’Connell is available for the game in Dublin and the captain will provide a menacing presence that could throw the Welsh off during the game.
After a good start to the tournament, Jonathan Sexton will be hoping to aim for a 100% conversion rate in the clash against Wales after scoring 5 of the 6 attempts last week.
For Wales, this will be the first real tough test of their title defence after they managed to overcome Italy 23-15 in Cardiff last weekend.
Wales will be boosted by the return of Sam Warburton into their squad and his experience will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable asset in such a big game.
There will also be a lot expected of Mike Phillips whose physical style could certainly make life uncomfortable for the hosts an give Wales a fighting chance on Saturday.
The other highlight of the weekend will see Scotland host England at Murrayfield as the two bitter foes fight for the Calcutta Cup on Saturday night.
The hosts did not get off to the best start last weekend as they succumbed to a 28-6 defeat to Ireland in Dublin last Sunday.
Back on home soil, Scotland will hope their defensive game will break up England’s build up play and with the pairing of Duncan Weir and Tim Swinson making 15 tackles a piece – the highest stats in the whole of the opening round.
Initial tournament favourites England were upstaged last weekend in Paris as they were caught unaware by France whose last-minute try earned them a 26-24 win.
To make amends, England will hope that some of their more experienced players such as Dylan Hartley and Danny Care can shine through and help the visitors get their title chase back on track.
As ever with the rivalry weekend, all the games will be closely fought and the likes of England and Ireland will be determined to fight that bit harder to make their title hopes that bit more realistic.