This weekend’s predictions

Date published: March 18 2016

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

In the Six Nations, it's crunch time for England as they take on France in Paris in a bid to win their first Grand Slam since 2003. 

Elsewhere, Wales will be hoping for a comprehensive victory over Italy in Cardiff and Scotland will try to win their third successive match when they face Ireland in Dublin.

There's also a full round of Premiership matches and several Super Rugby clashes in the Southern Hemisphere.

There is plenty at stake and we're going to make it a little more interesting by seeing what Paddy Power is offering on the betting scene.

Six Nations

France v England

As the tournament's tabletoppers, England are overwhelming favourites to win this clash, and the Grand Slam, and our eight-point victory prediction looks handy at 20/1 for an exact winning margin. 

As far as pointscoring goes, there's several enticing options. England flyer Anthony Watson is odds on favourite to open the scoring at 17/2, while England get the win, but his team-mate, and fellow wing, Jack Nowell, looks worth a gamble at 10/1 for that same feat.

Meanwhile, France's pivot François Trinh-Duc looks a solid option at 11/1 to score a try in the 80 minutes.

England full-back Mike Brown has been in superb form throughout the tournament and is a handy bet to walk off with the Man-of-the-match award at 12/1.

Wales v Italy

It looks like this is going to be a one-sided affair as Italy will have to play out of their skins to beat Wales in their own backyard. Our prediction for a Wales win by 30 points is at 35/1 if you want to bet on the exact winning margin but, if Italy are competitive, it's worth a bet to go for Wales to lead by between one and seven points at half-time, which is at 4/1 odds.

If you fancy someone to notch the fullhouse of scoring a try, as well as kicking a conversion, penalty and drop goal then Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is the man to place your bets on at 25/1.

A try by any Italian player is worth a bet as their first scoring play in the second half at 16/1.

Ireland v Scotland

This should be the tournament's closest match of the weekend and we think it will be a good option to play a bet on Scotland to score the opening points via a try which is at 7/1.

We've gone for Ireland to secure a five-point victory and if you're brave enough to bet on that, it's at 22/1 for an exact winning margin. It's also worth it to place a bet, on skipper Greig Laidlaw to score a try and Scotland to get the win, which is at 12/1.


Leicester v Saracens

Leicester are at home but they lost against Wasps last weekend and are up against Saracens, who are the tournament's pacesetters and defending champions.

This is a close one but Sarries to win by between one and seven points looks worth it at 10/3 while Owen Williams is a handy bet at 11/1 to score his side's first try.

Other Premiership scores:

Bath v Newcastle – Bath by 6
Wasps v Sale – Wasps by 5
Exeter v Northampton – Northampton by 2
Harlequins v Worcester – Harlequins by 7
London Irish v Gloucester – Gloucester by 10

Super Rugby

Stormers v Brumbies

The Brumbies head to Cape Town in a bid to retain their unbeaten status and face their hosts who will be smarting after suffering a narrow loss to the Sharks last weekend.

The Brumbies haven't been troubled yet this year so we're backing them to clinch the win at 11/2 by between six and 10 points.

Other Super Rugby scores:

Bulls v Sharks – Bulls by 7
Sunwolves v Rebels – Rebels by 5
Crusaders v Kings – Crusaders by 25
Reds v Blues – Reds by 5
Lions v Cheetahs – Lions by 10
Jaguares v Chiefs – Chiefs by 6