Nicosia, Cyprus (PressExposure) February 06, 2009 -- This tournament shall include teams of England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy. Ever since 5 teams became six in the year 2000, only 3 teams which are England, France, and Wales have great chances of winning. The other three teams have realistically very little chance of winning. Wales will be looking to defend their title.
Teams which will win all their matches will also collect the grand slam along with the prestigious Six Nation's Rugby Trophy.
The tournament will begin on Saturday with first match between England vs. Italy on the 7th February 2009 and Ireland vs. France on the same day. The match scheduling is as follows:
England vs. Italy Sat 7th Ireland vs. France sat 7th Scotland vs. Wales Sun 8th France vs. England 14th Wales vs. England 14th Italy vs. Ireland 15th France vs. Wales 27th Scotland vs. Italy 28th Ireland vs. England 28th Italy vs. Wales 14th Mar Scotland vs. Italy Sat 14th Mar England vs. France Sun 15th Mar Italy vs. France Sat 21st Mar England vs. Scotland Sat 21st Mar Wales vs. Ireland Sat 21st Mar
Detailed Overview of the Teams
Wales: There is no argument that Wales are the clear favorites with none of their rival having improved their performance recently; their retaining the Championship is easy. With arguably the worlds best finisher in Williams, coupled with a strong team across the board, it would take a very good side to match the Dragons over 5 games. The match in France shall be the biggest threat to another Grand Slam title.
England & Martin Johnson are in desperate need of a positive campaign after being hammered in the November Internationals. Much will rest on the shoulders of Andy Goode, the fly-half recalled for his first game in over 2 years in the absence of both Danny Cipriani & Toby Flood.
They do have 3 home games this time around but must travel both to Wales & Ireland; they haven't won in either country since they last won the tournament in 2003.
France: They can win or lose to anyone on their day and that will never change. The home loss to England last year hurt Les Bleus, however, and they will be looking for revenge at Twickenham on day 4 match. With the pressure on coach Marc Livrement after consecutive defeats to South Africa & Australia, the notorious Parisian crowd may also work against the French if they do not try to take early leads in their home game
Ireland: They haven't won this competition since 1985 and there is no reason to believe that the Shamrock is any better than their rivals this time. They do have one of the best fixture lists, with home games against England.