This weekend’s predictions

Date published: February 5 2016

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.


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