IRELAND are the team to beat at this year’s Six Nations with France the ones to watch, according to Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings.
Speaking exclusively to mrfixitstips via online bookie Unibet Hastings said: “I think France will be the closest challengers to Ireland to win the Six Nations this year.
“If the French win their opener agains Scotland they’ll be off and running, while Ireland have so many good memories from a year ago. But I think that it is going to be a very close tournament this year.”
Unibet currently have Ireland as the 9-5 favourites to defend their Six Nations title with 11-2 France sitting behind both England at 19-4 and Wales at 11-4.
Looking ahead to this weekend Hastings believes Wales will edge England by 1-5 points at 3-1 and Ireland will see of Italy by 6-10 points at 14-1.
For the Cardiff showdown Hastings said: “First games in the Six Nations are always difficult and if England can get a breakaway try and kick a couple of goals this match might be a lot closer than many predict.”
The patriotic Scot also couldn’t resist tipping his country to beat France at 13-4 and said: “It’s an exciting time for Scotland. I thought they were so impressive in the autumn against Argentina and New Zealand and I’m not too convinced by the French who lost 18-13 to Argentina in their last match.
“The Scottish defence is solid and they are scoring tries again and if they can take that form into this match we could be talking about a first Scottish victory in Paris since 1999.”
It could be a pivotal year for Stuart Lancaster. The England coach is 11-2 to be replaced as head coach before the World Cup although England are 9-1 for a Six Nations and World Cup double.
Gavin’s recommended bets
9-5 Ireland to win Six Nations
3-1 Wales to beat England by 1-5 points
14-1 Ireland to beat Italy by 6-10 points
13-4 Scotland to beat France
For the full Gavin Hastings Six Nations Preview visit http://bet.unibet.co.uk/more-sports/rugby-union/international-rugby/gavin-hastings-exclusive-six-nations-preview-tips
3-1 England, Ireland & France to all win this weekend
11-2 Lancaster to be replaced as England head coach before the Rugby World Cup
9-1 England to win Six Nations & World Cup
66-1 Wales to win Six Nations & World Cup
20-1 Ireland to win Six Nations & World Cup
75-1 France to win Six Nations & World Cup