One of the hardest Six Nations to call in recent memory gets underway this Saturday, when Ireland travel to Murrayfield.
Joe Schmidt’s side are without fly-half Johnny Sexton but head to Murrayfield gunning for a third title in four years. Later that day, England commence their title defence at home against France.
Wales travel to Rome to face Italy in the weekend’s final match, while in the PRO12 Munster are on the road against Edinburgh.
Let’s see who will come out on top.
Scotland v Ireland
Prediction: Although Scotland will be competitive in their own backyard, Ireland are a well-drilled team and will have too much firepower for their hosts. Ireland to win by five points.
England v France
Prediction: Expect France to give a good account of themselves but it’ll be a home win at Twickenham on Saturday. England by six.
Italy v Wales
Prediction: Despite the Italians’ one-hit wonder against the Springboks in November and playing at home, the Welsh should take it quite comfortably. Wales by 15.
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Edinburgh v Munster
International abcenses unsurprisingly have hit both teams hard for this rescheduled PRO12 fixture, which was moves to accomodate Munster’s postponed Champions Cup match with Racing 92.
The good news for Edinburgh is that John Hardie is back to full fitness and starts in a strong back row alongside Magnus Bradbury and Cornell du Preez.
Munster meanwhile hand opportunities to the likes of Calvin Nash, making his debut, and young centre Dan Goggin to name a few.
Jaco Taute, Tyler Bleyendall, Rhys Marshall and Jack O’Donoghue are all present but Munster’s winning record in the PRO12 is certainly under threat, a run that goes all the way back to October 8 last year. Edinburgh by six.