With just over one month to go until the 2023 Six Nations, third betting favorites to win the championship, England are set to name Steve Borthwick as their new Head Coach. On February 4th, Borthwick and England will get their campaign underway at Twickenham against Scotland, so can the 2019 World Cup finalists mount a serious challenge to win the championship they last won back in 2020?
Borthwick is not going to have much time to turn England’s form around. It’s now more likely that the 2023 Six Nations will simply be a chance for the new Head Coach to settle into the job, and put World Cup plans into place.
The Leicester boss has been the overwhelming favourite for the role since Eddie Jones was sacked.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 18, 2022
But England is probably the most resourceful rugby union nation in the world. They have a pool of players to pick from unlike anyone else, apart from possibly the French. So why would they just write off the 2023 Six Nations?
England have favorable home fixtures in the 2023 Six Nations
England has three home games in the 2023 Six Nations. Their home fixtures are Scotland, Italy, and France. They will expect victories against Scotland and Italy. The French will present a real challenge. But when England are firing, Twickenham is one of the hardest places in world rugby for a visiting team to come to and win.
Away from home, England has to play Wales and Ireland. The game against Ireland is the final match of the championship, and England will find it difficult to get anything at the Aviva.
But away to Wales, England will fancy their chances. The Welsh have had as bad a time as England recently, and they’ve just sacked Wayne Pivac, and reappointed Warren Gatland as Head Coach.
🚨 Warren Gatland is BACK! Wales confirm his return as head coach. pic.twitter.com/OPzRLguTlA
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) December 5, 2022
So looking at England’s Six Nations fixtures, four of their five matches look more than winnable.
Where did it go wrong for Eddie Jones?
England dismissed Eddie Jones as Head Coach after a disappointing series of autumn internationals. In truth, it wasn’t just what happened in the autumn that cost Jones his job. The problems have been longer term.
Under Jones’ leadership, England only won five of their 12 test matches played in 2022. After a disappointing Six Nations campaign in 2022, Jones led England to a 2-1 series win away in his native Australia. That looked to have got England back on track.
But ultimately it proved to be another false dawn, as England’s form in the autumn resembled that of the Six Nations, rather than of the series win over Australia. At that point, it looked like England were regressing, as opposed to going forwards. And with that, the fate of Jones was sealed.
But has England made a mistake? Eddie Jones has a proven track record when it comes to World Cups. As much as he would have been disappointed with the autumn results, he was using those matches to build towards the 2023 World Cup.
Were England right to sack Eddie Jones?
— Rugby World (@Rugbyworldmag) December 6, 2022
Whether England has made the right choice, we don’t know. But if they do flop in France next autumn, Jones will no doubt feel vindicated.
Betting to win the 2023 Six Nations
So, who is the favorite in the betting to win the Six Nations? The favorites with the top rugby betting sites are Ireland. The Irish are +140 to win a title they’ve not held since 2018, when they also completed the Triple Crown and the Grand Slam (winning all five matches).
|2023 Six Nations Winner Betting|
Behind the Irish comes the French at +170. For anybody wondering why France are only second favorites when they are widely regarded as the best side in the world, it’s because of the format used in the Six Nations of only playing each other once.
This means that every year fixtures swap between being played at home and away. Last year France faced Ireland and England in France. This year when they face Ireland, it will be at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, and when they play England, it will be at Twickenham.
Having these two fixtures away (the hardest two for France), makes winning the title more difficult. On the flip side, Ireland will face both France and England in Dublin, which is why Andy Farrell’s team are the betting favorites.
Most observers think it will be a championship between Ireland and France, and that the match between the two nations in Dublin will decide the winner of the competition. For anybody who thinks it might come from outside of the top two ranked sides in world rugby, then England is next at +450, then it’s Wales (+1400), Scotland (+2000), and Italy (+50000).
All these prices are taken from BetOnline. You can read more about them at our BetOnline sportsbook review, where you will also find details of their new customer sign up offer.
Will the likes of Ireland and France be using the Six Nations as preparation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup? Quite possibly, and this makes calling our rugby betting picks more difficult.
Rugby is a game that can turn on its head pretty quickly though. As we’ve alluded to above, England looks like they have four winnable fixtures. And if they win those four, they will have a great chance to win the championship.
They are far better odds than both Ireland and France. And although it will take an almighty swing in their favor, I think they are a good value bet.
That’s not me saying I think they’ll win it. Just that they look like the value bet at this moment in time. For me, I would have a small wager on England at +450, and maybe look to have a saver bet on France before, or during the championship.