What do France and Ireland need to win the Six Nations?


France will start as red hot favourites to win the Six Nations Championship when they face England in Paris, on Saturday March 19.

A win against Eddie Jones’ side guarantees France the championship - regardless of what Ireland do against Scotland.

If Les Bleus lose against England and Ireland beat Scotland in Dublin, Ireland will be crowned Six Nations champions.

A draw for the French adds a layer of intrigue. If they draw in Paris – having failed to secure a bonus point try, the title will go to Andy Farrell’s men.

Bonus points

If the French are held to a draw against England but score four tries in doing so, they will be awarded three points. In that scenario, they win the Six Nations if Ireland have also failed to secure a bonus-point win against Scotland earlier in the afternoon.

“I think England have a great chance,” said Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.

“England are England, one of the most dominant teams in world rugby. They can do a lot of damage.”

Eddie Jones will need to rally his side after a crushing 15-32 defeat to the Irish last time out. They fought hard to make a game of it following the early dismissal of Charlie Ewels and were level by the midway point of the second half.

Massive steps forward

They ran out of gas in the final ten minutes of that encounter, but Jones has seen plenty to encourage him for the future.

"We’re only going to get better and we’ll do that by working hard on the field," he said.

"We’ve taken massive steps forward. Obviously, our aim was to win the championship. We’re disappointed we haven’t, but sometimes circumstances mean the results don’t mimic the performances. The results will catch up.

“France are a good team,” said the Australian, ahead to this weekend’s match-up.

“But like any team if you can get stuck into them physically, take away their strengths, you can cause them problems.

He added:“For them playing for the Grand Slam becomes something in their head and the only way we can make that live in their head a bit more is to play with such intensity and ferociousness that we put them on the back foot.”

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