6 Nations 2016 – Final Round Preview

A Grand Slamming Final Day

The final day of the 6 Nations has arrived. While we may have our winners already, there is still plenty to play for.

England will of course take on France as they attempt to claim to Grand Slam for the first time since 2003. Scotland and Ireland will battle for 3rd place and Wales and Italy both still have points to prove in the tournament.

Find out more about this weekends games in our Final Round preview.

Wales v Italy (Saturday 19th March 14:30)

While it may seem a sure thing that Wales will secure 2nd place by beating Italy on Saturday, it would be foolish for them to underestimate their visitors.

Italy have failed to get a win in the 2016 Championship.
Italy have failed to get a win in the 2016 Championship.

While they have never lost to Italy at home, Wales will be without their Captain, Sam Warburton, and the players will remember when Italy came very close to beating Wales in Cardiff in 2006. Italy are so far without a win the 2016 Championship, last week they were trounced by Ireland, so they will be looking to end their campaign on a more positive note.

Wales Starting XV:  Liam Williams; Hallam Amos, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Bradley Davies, Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate (capt), Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Italy Starting XV: Martin Castrogiovanni, Dario Chistolini, Pietro Ceccarelli, Andrea Lovoti, Matteo Zanusso, Oliviero Fabiani, Davide Gizzzon, Valerio Bernabo, Marco Fuser, Quintin Geldenhuys, Francesco Minto, Sergio Parisse (capt), Jacopo Sarto, Abraham Steyn, Alessandro Zanni.

Ireland v Scotland (Saturday 19th March 17:00)

Both Scotland and Ireland failed to start the tournament the way they wanted. However, both teams have recently found better form and now their final match will decide who gets to be in the better half of the table when the Championship ends.

John Barclay has been a stand out player for Scotland in the 2016 6 Nations.
John Barclay has been a stand out player for Scotland in the 2016 6 Nations.

It is also being anticipated as being one of the more entertaining matches of the tournament given the free flowing running rugby both teams displayed in the last round. Ireland will be keen to prove they are still a dominant side in Northern Hemisphere rugby while Scotland will be chasing a third consecutive win in the 6 Nations for the first time since 1996.

There are a small amount of changes for both teams after last round. Most notably for Scotland is tackling machine Jonny Gray is missing from the team sheet through injury and has been replaced by Tim Swinson. Tommy O’Donnell gets a start for Ireland after Josh Van der Flier took a knock in training. Will the replacements change the outcome of the match? We’ll find out on Saturday.

Ireland Starting XV: Simon Zebo; Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Mike Ross; Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner; CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Jamie Heaslip.

Scotland Starting XV: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor, Alex Dunbar, Tim Visser, Duncan Weir, Greig Laidlaw (capt), Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford , WP Nel, Richie Gray , Tim Swinson, John Barclay, John Hardie, Ryan Wilson

France v England (Saturday 19th March 20:00)

The main event of Super Saturday. England will head to Paris to try and claim a Grand Slam. A feat not achieved by an English side for 13 years, despite having a number of chances to do so.

Eddie Jones has led England to their most successful 6 Nations since 2011.
Eddie Jones has led England to their most successful 6 Nations since 2011.

France meanwhile would surely like nothing better than to spoil the party at their home stadium in Paris. In fact, they have stopped Grand Slams taking place 4 times in the Championships past. It will take the best performance of the tournament from the French if the yare to stop this English side however.

With little time with new Head Coach, Eddie Jones, England have gone from bailing out of their own World Cup to being 80 minutes away from claiming a Grand Slam. Will they do it?

France Starting XV: Scott Spedding, Wesley Fofana, Gael Fickou, Maxime Mermoz; Virimi Vakatawa; François Trinh-Duc, Maxime Machenaud, Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (capt), Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Damien Chouly, Bernard Le Roux, Loann Goujon.

England Starting XV: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell; George Ford, Danny Care; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (capt), Dan Cole; Maro Itoje, George Kruis; Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola.

The first game of the Final Round kicks off at 14:30 on March 19th, will you be watching? Will England win the Grand Slam? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook & Twitter.



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