Predictions: Six Nations, Premiership and more…

Date published: February 10 2017

Three Six Nations matches headline a busy weekend of action in Europe, as the domestic leagues return in full swing.

England’s trip to Cardiff and Scotland’s visit to Paris will provide plenty of interest, while Italy and Ireland are both looking to get off the mark in Rome.

Meanwhile there are a number of battles in the Premiership, Top 14 and PRO12 to keep an eye on too.

Let’s get into the games.

SIX NATIONS

Italy v Ireland

Preview: Few expect it to be back-to-back defeats for Joe Schmidt’s men as it’s likely to be an immediate response from a side capable of running up a big score.

Prediction: We can’t see any slip-up from the visitors as they get back to winning ways at the Stadio Olimpico. Ireland by 20 points.

Wales v England

Preview: Wales are a side on a mission. Written off by many before the tournament, they negotiated a tricky hurdle in last week’s opening round against Italy in Rome.

Prediction: This one is very difficult to call! Both sides should deliver improved performances this weekend and although Wales have home ground advantage, England will sneak in and win by three points.

France v Scotland

Preview: This new French team will know that [last year’s] fifth place is below them and will need to win this game in order to improve their standings this season.

Prediction: Scotland look on fire at the moment but France are starting to hit their straps so this should go down to the wire. France by five.


PREMIERSHIP

Exeter Chiefs v Wasps

Ten points separate first-place Wasps from third-placed Exeter going into the weekend which makes this a must-win for the Chiefs for their hopes of finishing in the top two. Exeter fly-half Gareth Steenson has a major role to play, as does Exeter’s packs, while Wasps will be without England players Elliot Daly, Nathan Hughes, Joe Launchbury and Matt Mullans. Those absences may dictate the outcome. Exeter by three.

Other Premiership predictions:

Bristol v Harlequins: Bristol by 3
Bath v Northampton Saints: Bath by 6
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons: Sale by 5
Leicester Tigers v Gloucester: Tigers by 8
Worcester Warriors v Saracens: Saracens by 7


TOP 14

Racing 92 v Bayonne: Racing by 8
Pau v Lyon: Pau by 10


PRO12

Zebre v Ospreys: Ospreys by 18
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets: Glasgow by 5
Munster v Newport Gwent Dragons: Munster by 9
Ulster v Edinburgh: Ulster by 12
Treviso v Leinster: Leinster by 7
Cardiff Blues v Connacht: Blues by 10

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