By Ruaraidh Britton, Feature Writer
It’s not often we get to start assuming Grand Slam winners in round three, or that we begin to think game over before the
half way mark. But after what’s felt like an age with the rest week, our favourite rugby showcase returns to our screens, and Saturday looks set to epic.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Joe Schmidt looks to regain some ground on the title race with a trip to Rome to face an Italian side who look like they’re
crawling ever closer to that rare Six Nations victory. I think it’d be fair to say that we are well and truly ready for this one.
FRANCE vs. SCOTLAND
This prediction has become somewhat of a
France are on the brink of another player revolt after Morgan Parra and other senior figures blamed Jacques Brunel, the head coach, for their 44-8 defeat by England, reports @AlexMLowe https://t.co/60vNRC0RDB— Times Sport (@TimesSport) February 11, 2019
Parra’s complaints clearly did him no favours as he drops out of the match day 23 along with Camille Lopez, who was also pretty vocal in the aftermath at Twickenham. There’s a feeling that Brunel really doesn’t know his best side yet, and in some areas that would
Imagine England losing Owen Farrell, or Ireland missing Peter O’Mahony, or Wales having Alun Wyn Jones on their absences list, the panic button would be smashed to pieces. How Peter Horne will do at 10, I’m unsure, but he played a blinder at Cardiff Arms Park last weekend. France is an entirely different prospect, but they’ve hardly lit the tournament alight this campaign apart from that first half against Wales.
Blair Kinghorn’s return to the starting setup will bring some comfort to the dark blues, but ultimately he’s not quite an in-form Stuart Hogg so it’s fair to say they’re definitely not running at full strength, but I think they’re not worlds away either.
I’m going with Scotland for this weekend’s opener, simply because I believe in their side more given their performances in the opening two rounds. France have been far from their best and it really showed last weekend and if Scotland can put all the talk of their away form out of their minds and seriously punish France’s defensive atrocities, I could see this game swinging in Scotland’s favour and what a historic result that would be.
Don’t expect France to make it easy though.