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England now favourites for Six Nations, but fixtures favour France

| 24.02.2014

Four teams on four points after three games of the Six Nations and all having converted between 53 and 64 points so far. It is almost take your pick when it comes to deciding whether England, Ireland, Wales or France will win it.

Coral have England as the new 11/8 favourites after beating Ireland and their remaining two fixtures are promising, with Wales at home and then Italy away.

The team playing at home have won 10 of the last 13 matches between England and Wales, although Stuart Lancaster’s men are currently on a three-game losing streak against the reigning Six Nations champions.

The fact Wales were much improved in beating France and do tend to get stronger as this competition progresses is a further worry for England.

However, should England beat Wales, expect them to be heavily odds-on to win the Six Nations, as they have never lost to Italy in their 19 career meetings.

It may be a nail biter though, as the last three encounters between the pair in Rome have been settled by no more than a five-point margin.

Ireland follow England in the Six Nations betting at 2/1 and they host Italy next, before visiting France.

The Irish have won their last seven against Italy in Dublin, but their visits to Paris typically end in disappointment. Ireland haven’t won in France since 2000 and have only triumphed once in their last 14 meetings with France anywhere.

Not only does history suggest a French win against Ireland, but first they visit a Scottish outfit that they have beaten seven times in succession and in 14 of their 15 showdowns this century.

France were woeful in defeat to Wales last time, with 20 second-half minutes played with a man in the sin-bin, scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain seemingly forgetting how to kick or pass and the scrum being completely dominated.

However, their fixtures promise a big improvement and at 6/1 to win the Six Nations, this has to be regarded as a value bet.

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