Six Nations: Can Anyone Get Near Wales?

Dumont WalkerSenior Analyst IFebruary 6, 2009

Once again, I am very happy to welcome in our friends from Heavens Game, to talk a little Rugby Union.

Today the topic is 6 Nations. That's right it is our favorite time of year when the European powerhouses take the field for bragging rights. And don't forget, Walker-Sports will be in Ireland in March for the conclusion of this great tournament.

On the eve of the 6 Nations, does any team have the ability to remove the "kings of Europe" mantle from Welsh Rugby?

On the face of recent evidence, both France and Ireland have a chance. The French are only a chance because they are France—a team that is so unpredictable that it is simply not worth saying too much more about them.

Wales travel to Paris with memories of recent wins. This will be without doubt the hardest match for both teams with Wales greater technique seeing them through.

Wales of course start their campaign up against the Scottish forward pack and seven other blokes along for the ride. Scotland—should they find a decent backline to compliment their excellent forward pack—would be a handful for any team in the world, the problem is they have an average backline and as such will be put to the sword by Wales on Sunday.

The Wales v. Ireland game is one that provides the two best fullbacks in Europe a run against each other in what will be a playoff for the Lions starting spot. Lee Byrne and Rob Kearney both come into the championship under injury clouds, in front of them is where the battle will be won.

Ireland have a world class lineout, if Wales get parity they will beat Ireland. In David Wallace Ireland have a great player, he may struggle to keep up his tempo with Wales' ability to build phase after phase. In what should be a tight match Wales will get home on the back of home advantage and the confidence that being a champion team brings.

Wales travel to play the Azzurri, a match that has tested Welsh teams in the past. Not this time I'm afraid. Italy's depth is being exposed and expect Wales to pull away with the match.

England at home will always be an emotional game for the Welsh. This Welsh team is simply too strong for England at the moment.

So there you have it; Wales to complete successive Grand Slams, with only Ireland and France to provide a challenge.

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