The 2022 Six Nations Championship kicks off on Saturday, February 5 and European rugby’s treasured showpiece is expected to be epic. Saturday’s opening fixture has Ireland hosting the defending champions Wales in Dublin. Scotland’s match against England is later in the day in Edinburgh. The weekend finishes in Paris with France facing off against Italy on Sunday.
Wales took the Six Nations Rugby 2021 crown, but not everyone is convinced they will repeat at this year’s Six Nations Rugby 2022 Championship.
Before all of the Six Nations Rugby 2022 action gets started, let’s take a closer look at each team.
The Teams Representing The Six Nations Rugby 2022 Championship
Wales will open with a tough fixture against Ireland. Andy Farrell’s men are hard to beat on home soil, and went undefeated in the Autumn Nations Series. This will be a real test for the defending champs who will return to Cardiff to host Scotland, a match they lost the last time they faced off. After that, they head to Twickenham Stadium, where they haven’t won in the Six Nations Rugby Cup since 2012. They will face France at Principality. While being home may be an advantage, many people favor France to win the Six Nations Rugby 2022 Championship. Their last fixture is against Italy. Should everything fall their direction, the Six Nations Rugby 2022 title could be decided in front of their home crowd.
The biggest thing standing between Wales and any victory is the fact that they are missing so many top players. Taulupe Faletau, Leigh Halfpenny, Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, George North, Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric won’t be playing, leaving only Taine Basham as one of Wales’ only key players available for the tournament.
France starts their campaign with a match against Italy. They have never lost to Italy at the Stade de France. However, their next opponent is Ireland, and that is expected to be one of the best games of the Six Nations Rugby 2022 Championship. Their hardest game may come against Scotland, as they have lost three of their last five meetings and four of their last five meetings at Murrayfield Stadium. They will venture to Cardiff, where they have been upset before. Their final fixture is against England, and most people expect this to be one for the ages.
The reason many people believe that this tournament is France’s to lose is because they have Antoine Dupont. Many consider him to be the best rugby player in the world right now. They also are playing their key matchups with home field advantage. It should be interesting to see if they can capitalize on these advantages.
Ireland will start off by hosting Wales, a matchup that is always exciting, before heading to France. They may have lost the last time they faced off, but France only had a narrow margin of victory and Ireland has played well since then. They will host Italy before traveling to Twickenham. Their final match is hosting Scotland in Dublin.
Some fans are speculating that Ireland is the dark horse in the Six Nations Rugby 2022 tournament due to their play in the autumn and the club type of feeling that their team may be afforded by the contingent of their players from Leinster.
Starting with what promises to be a monumental showdown, England will come to Murrayfield for a massive Calcutta Cup. They follow that up facing the reigning champions in Cardiff before hosting a promising team from France. The Scots are expected to win in Italy as they haven’t lost there since 2012. They finish the tournament in a much anticipated matchup in Dublin.
It might look like an uphill climb, but Scotland has a more experienced team than in years past. In recent years, they have a winning record over France and an even record with England and could easily win both of those games. Scotland has the talent to beat Wales, but may find it hard to do so in front of the Welsh home crowd. Expect a true struggle in their game against Ireland, that is likely to be where the real story gets told.
England will be looking to avenge their first loss to Scotland at home in 37 years, and that is just their beginning. They will then travel to Italy before hosting Wales in what most people think will be another grudge match. They play a well matched team from Ireland in Twickenham before heading to Le Crunch, where many believe the title will be decided.
England has a somewhat inexperienced, although talented team. Consider a player like Marcus Smith. While he is considered one of the best young players anywhere in the world, he has only played at an international level for less than a year. Couple that with inexperience playing in front of a crowd due to the pandemic and his performance is not a guarantee in this Six Nations Rugby 2022 faceoff.
Italy may have the toughest road ahead of any team. They open in a place they have never won and then play a team they have never beaten. After France and England, they travel to play Ireland and Scotland. Italy will finish in Cardiff against the defending champions.
Italy showed a lot of improvement at the Autumn Nations Series, but many fans still sadly expect to see them come in dead last and have zero points. Anything can happen, so they might just shock everyone.
Watch the Six Nations Rugby 2022 Championship at The Winslow
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