Six Nations 2024 Preview: Key Storylines and Predictions

Six Nations time is upon us again! The air crackles with anticipation, jerseys are dusted off, and anthems rehearsed. Here at the Rugbystuff Clubhouse, we're gearing up for another thrilling tournament, and we've got all the essential info to get you prepped.

With the echoes of the 2023 Rugby World Cup still ringing in our ears, teams are embarking on a new four-year cycle. Every match will be a battleground as revamped squads test their mettle. So, grab your lucky socks, your favourite team's jersey, and settle in for a preview that'll get your heart racing!

Ireland - Six Nations 2023 - Grandslam Winners

Last Year's Shadow: Can Ireland Defend Their Crown?

Ireland's 2023 triumph was historic, but replicating it won't be easy. The retirement of legendary fly-half Johnny Sexton leaves a massive void, and questions linger about their consistency. Their opening clash against France, the 2023 runners-up, promises to be an epic Championship decider.

France on the March: Home Advantage and Gallic Flair

Les Bleus are on a roll, boasting an impressive recent record and home advantage in the opener. While Dupont and Ntamack's absence leaves a hole, Jalibert seems to be hitting top form. However, could playing away from the iconic Stade de France due to Olympic preparations dampen their momentum?

England: Will England's Roar Echo Once More?

Steve Borthwick's men were left licking their wounds after a disappointing 2023 Six Nations. They'll be desperate to bounce back, especially following their Rugby World Cup semi-final appearance. Their opener against Italy should be a straightforward win, but Kieran Crowley's men shouldn't be underestimated. Can England rediscover their bite and contend for the title?

Dragons Seeking Fire: Wales Aim to Rise Again

Warren Gatland's return has lifted Welsh spirits, but they face a challenging fixture against Scotland in their opening match. With key players like Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar now retired, can they overcome their inexperienced squad and rekindle their fire?

Scotland: Can the Thistle Bloom Again?

Gregor Townsend's men impressed in 2023, showcasing their attacking prowess. Finn Russell's return as co-captain adds intrigue, but can they avoid inconsistency and challenge for the top spots?

Italy: The Sleeping Giant Stirs?

The Azzurri may be the perennial underdogs, but they showed promising signs under Kieran Crowley last year. With a new coach in Gonzalo Quesada, who favours an expansive style, could they finally awaken and cause an upset?

Key Fixtures to Watch Out For:

    • Round 1: France vs Ireland sets the tone for the tournament. Who will take pole position for a Grand Slam?
    • Round 2: England vs Wales: Twickenham will be rocking for this historical rivalry. Can England rediscover their dominance against their neighbours?
    • Round 3: Scotland vs England: Will Scotland continue their recent Calcutta Cup dominance or will England restore historical order?
    • Round 4: England vs Ireland: Will Twickenham's fortress status hold, or will Ireland be on their way to a second consecutive Grand Slam?
    • Round 5: Ireland vs Scotland: Will Scotland finally be competing for silverware or will Ireland lift the Championship Trophy in front of a home crowd on St. Patrick's weekend?
    • France vs England: Le Crunch, another infamous fixture in the Six Nations diary. Resurgent England or France lifting the trophy?

Predictions:

France and Ireland are easliy the frontrunners. However, don't count out England, Scotland, or even Wales on their day. Italy are rebuilding, but will be hopefull of causing an upset.

However, some rugby oracles like Rugbystuff love taking a crack at predicting the final table. So, what does their crystal ball reveal?

Hold your breath, because Rugbystuff predicts...

1. France
2. Ireland
3. Scotland
4. England
5. Wales
6. Italy

One thing's for sure: the Six Nations 2024 promises to be a thrilling, unpredictable ride. So mark your calendars, gather your mates, and get ready to witness some of the best rugby on the planet!


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