The final match in Round 3 of the Six Nations is a big one as England clash with unbeaten Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday
England v Ireland, Sunday 23rd February, Twickenham KO 17:00 (South African time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France) , Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Weather Forecast: Twickenham
This will be England's first home fixture of the tournament with Wales due at Twickenham in the next round before they finish up in Italy. England's opening games produced mixed results. They were 4.5 point favourites for a Round 1 clash with France in Paris which they lost 24-17 (half time 17-0) but in Round 2 they put themselves back in contention with a hard earned 13-6 win over Scotland in Edinburgh. The margin of victory over the Scots was pretty much in line with where the pre-match handicap had been set and England finished the round in fourth place in the standings, level on points with Wales and 4 shy of both Ireland and France.
Heading into the weekend program England were still favourites to land the 6 Nations title at around 13/8 but they have drifted significantly from pre-tournament odds on quotes of around 5/6.
Fixtures: R4 Wales (h), R5 Italy (a)
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Ireland have won 2 from 2 and they have 9 log points against their name. Should France lose in Cardiff on Saturday they will have the opportunity to put some daylight into their rivals and after this Ireland host Italy and finish up in Paris.
Ireland opened their tournament with a 19-12 home win over Scotland where Johnny Sexton scored all of their points including the only try of the game although they fell short of covering the pre-match handicap. In Round 2 Ireland were 4.5 point favourites for the clash with Wales in Dublin and they came out on top 24-14, scoring 4 tries to 2.
Ireland have won 4 of their 10 Six Nations matches at Twickenham including their most recent 6N visit in 2018 although they were well beaten by England in Dublin in this competition last year.
Ireland can be backed at around 9/4 to win the title.
Fixtures: Italy (h), France (a)
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonathan Joseph, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Charlie Ewels, 21 Ben Earl, 22 Willi Heinz, 23 Henry Slade
Ireland: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Caelan Doris, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Keith Earls
Recent 6N & RWC Head to Head (any venue)
2019 6N Dublin Ireland 20-32 England (Tries 2-4)
2018 6N Twickenham England 15–24 Ireland (Tries 3-3)
2017 6N Dublin Ireland 13-9 England (Tries 1-0)
2016 6N Twickenham England 21-10 Ireland (Tries 2-1)
2015 6N Dublin Ireland 19-9 England (Tries 1-0)
2014 6N Twickenham England 13–10 Ireland (Tries 1-1)
2013 6N Dublin Ireland 6-12 England (Tries 0-0)
2012 6N Twickenham England 30–0 Ireland (Tries 2-0)
2011 6N Dublin Ireland 24-8 England (Tries 2-1)
2010 6N Twickenham England 16–20 Ireland (Tries 1-3)
The Betting - Handicap
England -7.5 points at 9/10 widely available
Ireland +7.5 points at 9/10 widely available
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
Ireland coach Andy Farrell comes up against his son Owen to add an extra dimension to what is already looks likely to be a terrific contest. Ireland were a touch fortunate against Scotland but improved to see off Wales whilst England ground out the win in the rain in Edinburgh to get their campaign back on track.
I'm finding the 6 Nations tough going so far but I did catch England to win by 1-12 in Edinburgh and given I think the handicap looks about right, I'll stick with the same bet here.
Additional interest comes in the drop goal market where “yes” has decent claims at the current price imo.
Bet: 2 units, England to win by 1-12 points at 14/10 Sportingbet - Need to open an account? Claim your 1st deposit bonus of up to R2,000 here
1 unit Will there be a drop goal? (yes) at 18/10 WSB
Unit Scale 1-5