Ireland Remain The Team To Beat In The Six Nations - Ruck

Ireland Remain The Team To Beat In The Six Nations

The 2024 Six Nations tournament may be in its infancy, but Ireland, the reigning champions, have already made first place their own. They were one of the favourites to win the Six Nations this year, primarily based on their performances last year, but now everyone seems to have them pegged as the team to beat in 2024.

It’s pretty much standard procedure that the reigning champion in a tournament, regardless of the sport, will start out as one of the favourites next time round because they’ve proven their credentials as winners most recently. As mentioned above, most felt Ireland had a great chance to secure back-to-back Six Nations titles, including the bookmakers. But reviewing the latest Six Nations betting odds, it seems like the latter are even more sure, as Ireland are now odds on to win the whole thing outright.

Ireland kicked off their Six Nations campaign with an impressive 38-17 victory over France in Marseille. Interestingly, like Ireland, France were another team expected to push all the for success in the 2024 Six Nations. Still, the Irish tore them apart, with the latter recording their biggest-ever away win and securing an all-important bonus point. Paul Willemse’s sending off just after the half-hour mark didn’t help France and could hinder them moving forward.

With Ireland so short in the betting at 1/5 at the time of writing, with odds subject to change along the way, it does feel like it will take something special from the other nations if they’re to triumph. And, when you consider how dominant Ireland was against France, one of the favourites, and the fact they lead the way in the standings thanks to the bonus point they secured, this makes it even more apparent. But is all hope necessarily lost?

While you would be right to say Ireland are the favourites and are the team to beat, and being reigning champions strengthens their claims, other countries remain in the mix, too, at this early stage. England won the Six Nations in 2020 and are just a point behind Ireland in the standings at the time of writing. They also remain the joint most successful Six Nations team, with thirty-nine titles to their name, alongside Wales. England are second favourites in the betting to win the Six Nations for the first time in four years, and like Ireland, they too have the proven credentials.

The above isn’t designed to knock Ireland’s chances of winning a second Six Nations title in as many years, a feat they achieved in 2014 and 2015, with England then winning the Six Nations for the two years following. Ireland are rightfully seen as the team expected to win, but in any tournament in any sport, anything can happen, as proven countless times before. England and others, including France, who suffered defeat in their opening fixture against Ireland, will still feel it’s not over yet and that there’s still plenty of time to stake a claim.