Five Bold Predictions For The 2023 Six Nations - Page 5 of 5 - Ruck

Five Bold Predictions For The 2023 Six Nations

5. Italy and Scotland out to upset the favourites.

Italy finally broke their Six Nations curse, after upsetting Wales in Cardiff last year. The ‘Azzurri’ have continued to build an exciting team of talented young players, spearheaded by their technician Paolo Garbisi. The Montpellier fly half has elevated his nation to believe in themselves once again, and instill the fight to finally pass on the dreaded wooden spoon.

The incredible Autumn series win over Australia cements this new-found Italian identity, and the arguments for their removal from the Six Nations are growing ever quieter. Over the past three years, Italy have been strengthening their squad through residency and ancestry eligibility. Australian-born Monty Ioane, and Gloucester’s Welsh-born Stephen Varney have bolstered the ranks in the backs, with New Zealand-born Toa Halafihi adding a powerful presence at number eight.

Italy have proven that on their day, they could provide the upset of the competition. The neutral fans will hope to see them climb from the table’s bottom rung when the 2023 Six Nations is wrapped up. Scotland find themselves in an interesting position heading into the competition. Their opening match is against England at Twickenham, and they could not be more excited.

The Calcutta Cup is a fixture which in recent years, England fans have watched from behind the sofa, and they will leave everything on the pitch to once again get the better of their old enemy.

With Finn Russell pledging himself to Bath next season, the teams charismatic fly half will be eager to prove that he is worth every penny, of his reported record breaking wages at the Rec. Stuart Hogg’s involvement is uncertain after he missed out on Exeter’s recent trip to South Africa, which if serious will leave a big opportunity in the back field.

After Worcester Warrior’s dissolvement, Duhan van der Merwe is settling into life north of the border at Edinburgh, and will enjoy the opportunity to represent Scotland, who are the dark horse of this years competition.