England ended the 2017 Six Nations Championship with yet another win, but their victory was soured by a last-round loss to Ireland. The defeat denied them back-to-back Grand Slams and ended their unblemished record.
Europe is giving the Southern Hemisphere a run for their money right, so the Six Nations is now more important than ever. Who will be crowned the European Champ in 2018? Let’s take a look at the odds.
Odds to win 2018 Six Nations Championship
England were inches away from sweeping their second consecutive Six Nations this year, but as mentioned, an upset loss to Ireland in the last round denied them the Grand Slam. Still, they’re back-to-back champs and undeniably the best rugby nation in Europe.
Their recent 18-game winning streak propelled them to second place in the World Rugby Rankings, putting them under New Zealand. Next year, they’ll be seeking a third consecutive Six Nations title, a feat never accomplished before.
Ireland stopped England in their tracks at this year’s tournament, beating them in the final round and denying them the Grand Slam, Triple Crown, and Millennium Trophy. It didn’t have any effect on the standings, but it definitely muted the English celebration.
That was the second time in recent history that Ireland has slain a rugby giant. Earlier this year, they ended New Zealand’s 18-game winning streak.
The Irish were a little inconsistent this year, losing to both Wales and Scotland. But when they’re at their best, they’re capable of beating any team in the world.
Since sweeping the series back in 2010, France has struggled to make an impact at the Six Nations Championship. They finished third this year, tied in points with both Ireland and Scotland. The glory years of French rugby are well in the past, but the French national team remain a formidable opponent.
Scotland is currently ranked fifth in the World Rugby Rankings, the highest in the country’s history. They managed to clinch the Centenary Quaich this year after three years of Irish rule, and ended a nine-match losing streak against Wales.
Still, after a marked improvement from 2016, the Scots finished in fourth place.
After climbing their way into second in the rankings two years ago, Wales have since dropped back down to eighth. The Welsh only managed two wins this year, finishing the championship ahead of just Italy. However, Wales did pull off a convincing win against Ireland, demolishing them 22-9.
Once again, Italy ended the 2017 Six Nations Championship without a single win. Since joining the championship in 2000, Italy have finished dead last 12 times and have never even come close to contesting the championship. Italian rugby has come a long way over the last decade, but they still have a long way to go.
Photo credit: England Kath[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]