Probyn, Murphy, Hastings and Evans cast their Six Nations predictions

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With the RBS Six Nations commencing this weekend, London sports PR agency ENS has been speaking to four rugby greats from the home nations to get their thoughts ahead of this year’s tournament.

Jeff Probyn (England)

Who do you think will win the Six Nations?
Everyone will say Wales but for me it’s Ireland’s year. With three games at the Aviva Stadium they’ve got to believe they have a real chance. I think Warren Gatland is concerned about the threat the Irish pose, particularly as Wales have to make the trip to Ireland. He knows there’s a good chance the tournament might come down to points difference and that’s why I feel he’s put a strong side out against Italy in the first game to get as many points on the board as possible.

Who will take home the Wooden Spoon?
It will come down to the match on the 22nd. Italy only has two home games against Scotland and England and I can’t see them getting anything from the latter. It will be between Scotland and Italy but I think Scotland will beat Italy in the Stadio Olympico, meaning the Italians will prop up the table this time around.

Who is the player to look out for?
There are many exciting talents involved in this year’s tournament. Leigh Halfpenny and George North jump immediately to mind, especially Halfpenny who matured a lot over the Lions tour. But I’m going to go with the French full back Brice Dulin. He’s a small stature, 23-years-of-age, lightweight and plays in Halfpenny’s style. Plus he’s had an excellent season at Castres so far.

Geordan Murphy (Ireland)

Who do you think will win the Six Nations?
I can’t see past Wales retaining their crown. I know they’re not in the best form and some might say in a bit of turmoil at the moment, but that will take the pressure off. Gatland is smart and he has some amazing attacking players at his disposal.

Who will take home the Wooden Spoon?
I’m going to have to go with Italy. You always know you’re in a game against the Italians but I can’t see them getting above Scotland this year. The Scots are constantly improving and will build upon their finish last year. Plus I can’t see Ireland and France having a tournament like last year.

Who is the player to look out for?
Cian Healy is a monster of a front row forward. He had some disciplinary issues last year but it’s fuelled by his hunger and passion for rugby. You’d rather play with him than against him and whilst I think Wales will sneak it in the end, Ireland will be right up there and Cian will be a big part of that.

Scott Hastings (Scotland)

Who do you think will win the Six Nations?
Wales have all the ability to retain the title and I think they will do so. France will be much improved on last year and England and Ireland will also be snapping at their heels but I think Gatland’s men will be too strong in the end.

Who will take home the Wooden Spoon?

Italy. I just hope it won’t be Scotland so I have to go with them. There’s no way Ireland and France are going to find themselves in a similar position to last year and England are always solid competitors.

Who is the player to look out for?
Wesley Fofana is a superb rugby player. France will be much improved on last year and I think that will help him to shine in the centre. I’m really looking forward to watching him.

Ieuan Evans (Wales)

Who do you think will win the Six Nations?
I’m confident Wales will win it again. The crunch game will be between them and Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. It will be close but I think the quality of the Welsh backs will sway it in the end. Whilst Welsh rugby isn’t having its best period at the moment, the Welsh side are ironically the most settled of the big teams. Leading up to a World Cup year, we’re in a time where teams will be making lots of experiments as shown by Stuart Lancaster’s selection for England’s match against France.

Who will take home the Wooden Spoon?

I have to say Italy I’m afraid. They had a poor Autumn. Regardless of the upset they caused beating France in Rome last year I think they’ll end up bottom.

Who is the player to look out for?
George North had an incredible Lions tour and I expect him to have a similarly successful Six Nations. He’s so powerful for a player of his age. I haven’t seen anything like him for a long time and I think if Wales come good, he’ll be the star.

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Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

4 thoughts on “Probyn, Murphy, Hastings and Evans cast their Six Nations predictions

  1. There’s no pressure on England this year – whilst nobody has said we’ll get the wooden spoon, I haven’t yet seen a pundit that’s backing us to win. I’m sure that suits the team just fine!

  2. If England win tomorrow then they are definitely in with a chance of the championship.
    England
    Ireland
    Wales
    France
    Scotland
    Italy

  3. The year following a Lions tour it would normally be France. Wales are going for an historic three in a row but I fancy England this year to pip Wales on points difference, no Grand Slam. They have both the Welsh and the Irish at home.

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