There are only two matches to predict this weekend, with Ireland’s fixture postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus.
That would have been the easy one to pick, with the two remaining fixtures a little more taxing.
Here are my predictions for Round 4 of the Six Nations
England v Wales
England were impressive against Ireland a fortnight ago, with their first win since the World Cup final delivering much-needed confidence before this battle with their closest rivals.
The absence of Sam Underhill is a concern for England, with the breakdown always a critical battleground in any match against Wales, and although Mark Wilson is a very able operator here, I think Wales have the edge in the back row.
England are stronger in the front five though, and with Eddie Jones persisting with the 6/2 bench split, it suggests he’s going to devise a gameplan around their strength in the tight phases.
Their kicking game will need to be sharp and accurate, up against Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny for Wales more than capable of either counter-attacking or pinning England back into their own corners. There have been signs of improvement in this area, and surely if I can see the threat of the Welsh back three, so can Eddie and his team of analysts.
With home advantage as well, the smart money is on an England win, and 90% of people on Superbru seem to agree – but anything can happen in these historic clashes against Wales, and for that reason, fans of both sides will be nervous.
England by 7
Scotland v France
I’m struggling a little with this pick, because France have been looking strong and are on course for the Grand Slam, but yet haven’t won at Murrayfield since 2014 and I’m always loathe to pick them when playing away from home.
The Scots have shown moments of quality without being able to string together a comprehensive performance, and it feels far-fetched to think they could down the French this weekend.
But France are marrying some attacking guile and flair with their traditional power game, and with Shaun Edwards adding defensive resolve, they are looking very tough to beat. Whilst Scotland can play an exciting, expansive game with quick ball, I don’t think the Scots have the tactical nous to break down this weekend’s opposition, and if things aren’t going their way, they could go very badly indeed.
With a little hesitation, I’m picking France to win away.
France by 9