The Six Nations are in full swing, with the Northern Hemisphere’s best going up against each other with the hope they can pick up the first piece of international silverware of 2018 and make a statement to their Southern Hemisphere rivals, who are sure to be keeping an eye on the competition with a World Cup edging closer and closer.
England aiming for third consecutive Six Nations triumph
For England, the 2018 Six Nations offer Eddie Jones’ side an opportunity to win a third consecutive tournament, having dominated the Six Nations during the 2016 and 2017 competition, with the Red Rose losing just once over the course of their combined 10 fixtures. England will want to impress and retain their Six Nations crown, however, with Ireland constantly improving and some question marks around cretivity still lingering, adding a third consecutive trophy might be difficult. The likelihood is, Jones is using the competition as a perfect opportunity to test out some new and old combinations throughout his XV, as he looks to find the formula to deliver a successful World Cup campaign in 2019.
Train hard 💪
Play hard 👊
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 8, 2018
England as a nation will still be smarting from their 2015 World Cup under Stuart Lancaster, where the home nation failed to make it out of the pool stage, which ultimately led to Lancaster’s departure and the appointment of Jones.
England now favoured over rivals in World Cup betting
The improvement of Jones’ side has been impressive over the last two years, which is reflected in the betting market ahead of the 2019 World Cup, with England at shorter odds than the likes of Australia and South Africa, who for years have often been viewed as the two nations that are most likely to challenge New Zealand for major honours.
New Zealand has won back-to-back World Cups, dominating world rugby for over a decade and picking up the famous trophy in both 2011 and 2015. Next year in Japan, the All Blacks are overwhelming favourites to pick up a hat-trick of World Cup triumphs, with some bookmakers even pricing them as odds-on favourites for success. Customers looking to place an unlikely wager against New Zealand might want to check out the UK Sports Betting site Free Bets UK, who have compiled a range of free bets and offers.
Jones is a winner and he doesn’t like to lose, so he will have his England side fired up for the Six Nations tournament, however, the Australian is also very aware of England’s failings at the World Cup over the last decade and will want to be the man to give the nation a tournament to remember in Japan.
The Six Nations might feel like the most important thing to England right now, but Jones will be using this competition, and the one in 12 months time, to prepare his side for the World Cup. It’ll be some test for England in Japan, but they will be more prepared under Jones than they were under Lancaster in 2015 and the way they have approached the Six Nations over the course of the last three years will give supporters every faith that 2019 could be something special.