This weekend’s predictions

Date published: February 5 2016

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It is that time of the week when we put our heads on the chopping block with Planet Rugby's predictions.

As always, Paddy Power is our chosen bookmaker for having a bet on the rugby and with the Six Nations kicking off on Saturday, joining six Premiership games and one from the PRO12 there's plenty to choose from.

Let's take a look at where the best bets are…

Six Nations

France v Italy

We can't see anything other than a comfortable win for les Bleus in this one as they should have too much quality against a new-look Italy, who could well fall by 11-20 or even 21-30 points. Those winning margins are priced at 15/8 and 11/4 respectively so take your pick there.

France to win both halves is 2/5 if you predict an easy afternoon in Paris, which is a much better option than half-time/full-time (1/6).

On the try-scoring front how about Sevens star Virimi Vakatawa to cross in the 80 minutes at 5/6 whilst in the man-of-the-match market we like the look of goal-kicking nine Sébastien Bezy at 6/1. He should flourish behind a strong pack with Paul Jedrasiak at 60/1 outside bet.

Scotland v England

Straight away the plus 6 handicap for Scotland caught our attention in what should be a tight affair at Murrayfield. The 2/1 for Scotland to get an outright win is also a decent price following their World Cup form and the uncertainty around England's experiment at 10 and 12.

Don't expect a wide game from England as they look to take it up the guts of their hosts with Danny Care sniping around the fringes. He is 14/1 to open the try scoring on Saturday while Scotland centre Matt Scott (25/1) is good odds as a back-up. Meanwhile, on the anytime try bet we'd advise backing England number eight Billy Vunipola (7/2) and finally the Tribet of either team to win by 6 points or less (9/5).

Ireland v Wales

Game of the weekend? We think so. Last year's champions face the tournament favourites in Dublin. Wales come in at evens and in what's expected to be a tight contest we like the look of either an Ireland or Wales drop goal for the first points of the match at 33/1.

Ireland debutant CJ Stander is well-priced as the game's first try scorer at 18/1 and we also like the look of Justin Tipuric as any anytime scorer at 7/1. As with the England game we're also keen on the Tribet of either teams winning by six points or less in what should be a close-run affair.

Premiership

Bath v Gloucester

The West Country derby is rarely a dull affair, and especially under the Friday night lights at The Rec. Bath haven't hit the heights of last season but come in as favourites – we like the look of them trailing at half-time before coming through to take the win at 11/2.

Semesa Rokoduguni, training with England but released for Friday's game, appeals as a 17/2 first try scorer and Francois Louw is worth considering as an anytime try scorer as well at 9/2. We're backing Bath to clinch this one by four to five points.

Other Premiership predictions: 

Wasps v Newcastle: Wasps by 8
Harlequins v Northampton: Quins by 9
Leicester v Sale: Leicester by 5
Exeter v Saracens: Exeter by 6
London Irish v Worcester: Irish by 3

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