On February 3rd Kieran’s Irish pub begins its coverage of the 2018 Six Nations Rugby championship and, just like a well-constructed jigsaw, the pieces are beginning to fall into place. The tournament always garners great interest in the Twin Cities and is one of the most popular events in Cara Irish Pubs sporting calendar. The championship this year opens on Super bowl weekend and closes March 17th on St. Patrick’s Day. Both the opening and closing weekends should be very busy.
Round 1 is on Saturday the 3rd and the third game of the weekend takes place on Super bowl Sunday itself. Scotland makes the trip to Cardiff and play Wales in the opening early game. Ireland makes the channel crossing to take on the French. On Sunday England host the Italians.
Saturday 3rd – Wales v Scotland (08:15am)
Saturday 3rd – France v Ireland (10:45am)
Sunday 4th – Italy v England (09:00am)
Rounds 2 begin with Ireland hosting Italy in the early game on February 10 with England clashing against Wales in London. France travel to the Scottish capital for the Sunday game on the 11th
Saturday 10th – Ireland v Italy (8:15am)
Saturday 10th – England v Wales (10:45am)
Sunday 11th – Scotland v France (9:00am)
France plays Italy to open Round 3. This game is the only Friday game this year and takes place in Paris. Wales visit Dublin in the open game on the 24th for the early game on Saturday. England travel trip to Edinburgh and take on Scotland in the Sunday match-up.
Friday 23th – France v Italy (2:00pm)
Saturday 24th– Ireland v Wales (08:15am)
Saturday 24th– Scotland v England (10:45am)
March 10th and 11th sees the penultimate round of this year’s championship. Ireland once again begins the round with a home game against Scotland. England visits Paris to tackle the French. In Sundays game Italy travel to Cardiff.
Saturday10th March – Ireland v Scotland (08:15am)
Saturday 10th March –France v England (10:45am)
Sunday11th March – Wales v Italy (09:00am)
The fifth and final round always produces a wonderful day out on St. Patrick’s Day with three games one after another. Scotland in Rome will provide the opening early game, Ireland visit London to take on England and France and Wales clash in Cardiff in the final game of this year’s tournament.
Saturday 17th March – Italy v Scotland (06:30am)
Saturday 17th March – England v Ireland (08:45am)
Saturday 17th March – Wales v France (11:00am)
Following recent performances, this season’s 6N’s competition could be the most open in recent memory. Defending champions, England, should be favourites again. However, they have three games away from home. Their opening game in Rome should be a formality. Round 2 should see them too strong for Wales in London. England then travel to Edinburgh in the 3rd round to face a re-surging Scotland. After making the trip to Paris, England host Ireland in the final round. Since the debacle in the 2015 RWC when England where eliminated in the group stages they have had an unprecedented run of success. The only setback was last year’s loss in Dublin when the Irish put the brakes on England’s grand slam designs. The English will be thirsting for revenge in the final game in this this year’s championship.
Ireland has 2 away games this year that sandwich 3 consecutive home match-ups in rounds 2, 3 and 4. They start by traveling to Paris for a difficult game. The French have had an indifferent last 12 months and will hope to start this year with a home win. Ireland host Italy, Wales and Scotland consecutively before visiting Twickenham.
Scotland had a great autumn series and will enter this year’s 6N in the best form for years. They beat Australia in summer down under and hammered them in the return game, a win over Samoa and a very narrow loss to New Zealand means that Scottish confidence is high. They will need to work hard with 3 games away; however, both France and England will travel to Edinburgh for difficult games.
Wales had a mixed bag during the autumn series with narrow wins against Georgia and South Africa. Losses to Australia and New Zealand proved that the Welsh have work to do. They open with a home game against Scotland before consecutive away games to England and Ireland. Italy visit Cardiff before the final round against France on St. Patrick’s Day.
Italy played 11 games last year and only won one (Fiji at home). They lost in the autumn series to Australia (home and away) and Argentina, the also lost to Fiji (away). They lost to Scotland in Singapore and also lost all five games in last year’s 6N. Questions continue to be asked about Italian inclusion in the 6N. They begin by hosting the English and end by welcoming the Scots to Rome. Three consecutive away games against Ireland, France and Wales respectively in the middle rounds could prove decisive for Italian hopes.
France lost a three game series in South Africa last summer, losses to Australia, New Zealand and a solitary win against Samoa in autumn means there is much to work on in French rugby. The opening will see the French hosting Ireland, a tricky game in Scotland before consecutive home games against Italy and England, a final game in Cardiff could see the French surprise a few people this year.