Six Nations 2021 is upon us, after a stunningly short break between tournaments, this weekend. Eddie Jones and England are looking to retain their title, which they won amidst the most tumultuous circumstances when COVID-19 delayed the final set of the 2020 tournament’s games by over half a year. To do that, they’ll have to overcome a formidable challenge from France’s young guns, as well as a likely relentless Welsh and Irish effort. Should Eddie Jones’ side manage to defend their titles, there will be many in the rugby world who claim that the Australian is the sport’s best coach.
How to watch the Six Nations on TV?
All of the Six Nation’s action can be viewed on UK terrestrial and free to view channels BBC and ITV. Below are the dates and times of fixtures with which channel the games will be shown live.
Round 1 fixtures and TV schedule
Sat 6 February, Italy v France, 2.15pm Live on ITV
Sat 6 February, England v Scotland, Twickenham, 4.45pm Live on ITV
Sun 7 February, Wales v Ireland, Principality Stadium, 3pm Live on BBC
Round 2 fixtures and TV schedule
Sat 13 February, England v Italy, Twickenham, 2.15pm Live on ITV
Sat 13 February, Scotland v Wales, BT Murrayfield, 4.45pm Live on BBC
Sun 14 February, Ireland v France, Aviva Stadium, 3pm Live on ITV
Round 3 fixtures and TV schedule
Sat 27 February, Italy v Ireland, 2.15pm Live on ITV
Sat 27 February, Wales v England, Principality Stadium, 4.45pm Live on BBC
Sun 28 February, France v Scotland, 3pm Live on BBC
Round 4 fixtures and TV schedule
Sat 13 March, Italy v Wales, 2.15pm Live on ITV
Sat 13 March, England v France, Twickenham, 4.45pm Live on ITV
Sun 14 March, Scotland v Ireland, BT Murrayfield, 3pm Live on BBC
Round 5 fixtures and TV schedule
Sat 20 March, Scotland v Italy, BT Murrayfield, 2.15pm Live on BBC
Sat 20 March, Ireland v England, Aviva Stadium, 4.45pm Live on ITV
Sat 20 March, France v Wales, 8pm Live on BBC
Six Nations Betting Preview
For many, this is a simple two-horse race between the reigning Champions England and Fabian Galthie’s young guns, but writing of Wales wouldn’t be something we’d recommend. They may not be in the best of headspaces, but with Covid hurting the tournament favourites in the shape of a number of coaching staff infections and a smaller squad, there is an opportunity for a big upset from any of the teams involved. In a year so different to any other, any Six Nations predictions could very well be out the window after Round 2.
Betting on Six Nations 2021
Many people are asking ‘can England win the Six Nations?’ The bookies appear to think that it is almost an inevitability. If the reigning champions do what’s expected and continue their dominance, there isn’t a great deal of value in their evens price. But 2/1 for them to go all the way to a Grand Slam seems a pretty interesting bet, if you’re confident they can get past Les Bleus in Round 4. If you’re not, then you should be very intrigued by the 5/2 offering on the French youngsters pulling off something of a minor upset in this, a very disjointed year for World Rugby.
After an incredible 2020 run, France will be putting a lot of hope on the shoulders of Charles Ollivon. The standout is expected to have another great year in 2021, and despite being the winner last year, he’s priced at an unbelievable 33/1 to be top try scorer this year. That seems worth a whack, even a £5 bet would return you £170 should he repeat his success.
Best Six Nations bets
One man notably missing from Scotland’s impressive 2020 which saw them just narrowly pipped to third place, was Finn Russell. After a famous dispute with coach Gregor Townsend saw him miss out on their entire pre-lockdown campaign, he’s back in the team and could be a contender for player of the tournament. At 10/1 to be the top point scorer in the tournament, he’s definitely a good outside bet. Owen Farrell is the odds on favourite, while Johnny Sexton at 4/1 seems interesting, if a little risky. If you’re willing to take the risk on Sexton, why not Russell?
There’ll be no fans at any of the games, but what impact that will have on proceedings remains to be seen. There’s also a risk every week that top players could test positive for Covid, which could cause any amount of unpredictable results. Evens on there being no Triple Crown winner seems like a bet that could be intriguing, especially if something were to happen before Round 5 when England make the famously daunting trip to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Our last tip would be to look at Jamie George as England’s top try scorer. He’s a British & Irish Lion and knows what it takes at this level to get the ball over the line. He’ll be looking to impress this year with the next Lions tour still up in the air over what form it will take. At 4/1, this is a bet worth taking.