The headline clash of what is set to be a pulsating 6 Nations final weekend will see France take on Ireland on Saturday the 31st of October.
Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The 2020 6 Nations will come to a close at the Stade de France where both France and Ireland be going all out to claim the title. Both teams are still in for a shout of 6 Nations glory but could face an uphill battle to claim the crown should England beat Italy by a substantial margin earlier in the day.
France v Ireland
Saturday 31 October
Stade de France
To Win (80 Mins)
France (-4.5) 9/10
Ireland (+4.5) 9/10
Le Bleu have enjoyed a really solid 6 Nations campaign and had it not been for a shock 28-17 Round 4 loss to Scotland then they would have been in the drivers’ seat to claim the 6 Nations crown. They are still in with a shot but they will surely have a mountain to climb as England – who are likely to claim a big bonus-point win over Italy – sit level on points with them but have a two-point superior points differential.
Should England rack up a 30 point win – this is where the current handicap for their game is – then the French would have to beat Ireland by more than 32 points and also secure a bonus point. Its a rather unlikely scenario, but hey, stranger things have happened.
Even if the French don’t pull off a miracle and are unable to overturn the odds, it will still have been a positive year for Le Bleu. They have established a really good side and as soon as their big forwards get their discipline acts together France will be world-beaters.
The equation is a rather simple one for the Irish; secure a bonus-point win at the Stade de France and take the 6 Nations title back to the ‘Emerald Isle’. You would have fancied their chances of doing just this two years ago but now with the French upping their game ten-fold, a bonus point Irish win would go down as a miracle.
Ireland would still be in with a shout of claiming the title should they only register a win without a bonus point as they are 23 points better off then England when it comes to points differential. They would, however, need Italy to do them a massive favour and make sure England don’t run away with the game.
Ireland have made a massive call with their team selection bringing the mercurial Jacob Stockdale in at fullback. While he is a great counter attacker, he is a bit suspect under the high ball so expect the French to pepper him with up and unders.
Verdict: France (-4.5) 9/10
I really fancy the French here. While the Irish were fantastic against Italy last week, I think they may well struggle up front against a solid French tight five.