Six Nations Rugby: Round 3 Preview

23rd February 2016

Sports4Bars looks ahead to Round 3 of the RBS Six Nations Championship which features three huge games: Wales v France, Italy v Scotland and England v Ireland

The third round of RBS 6 Nations kicks off on a Friday night for only the sixth time as France visit Cardiff. Les Bleus have begun well in terms of results with two narrow wins, but will need to improve their recent form in the Welsh capital if they are to sustain their challenge. Wales are also unbeaten so far and well placed with two home games to play in the last three rounds.

Saturday opens up with two of the three winless sides so far pitted against each other in Rome. Four of the last five test clashes between Italy and Scotland have been decided by four points or less and the analysis suggests another close encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.

Round 3 wraps up at Twickenham where one of the questions will be: can England hold on to top spot in the 2016 RBS 6 Nations table? This is the third time in the past four years that they have topped the pile following round 2, but they have not carried off the silverware since 2011. Defending champions Ireland have started slowly and will be anxious to break their duck in the win column this campaign, but they have not won at Twickenham since 2010. 

Friday February 26th, 8.05pm - BBC
Wales v France

Match stats and facts

  • Wales are unbeaten in their last six RBS 6 Nations encounters since their home defeat to England in round 1 last year
  • Wales have not been defeated in a round 3 fixture since France visited Cardiff on a Friday night in 2010
  • The Welshmen have won their last four matches at Principality Stadium since Ireland beat them there in a world cup warm up match in August
  • France have begun their 2016 RBS 6 Nations campaign with a pair of victories but have not won their opening three games in a season since they last took a grand slam in 2010
  • France’s only defeat in their last four RBS 6 Nations encounters was to England at Twickenham in round 5 last year
  • Wales have won their last four clashes with France since the RWC2011 semi-final in Auckland, which France won by the narrowest of margins, 9-8
  • The only try that France have scored against Wales in the last 421 minutes of rugby came when Brice Dulin scored late in last year’s encounter in Paris
  • France have lost on their last four visits to Principality Stadium, two of those in RWC2015, to Ireland and New Zealand

Saturday February 27th, 2.25pm - BBC

Italy v Scotland

Match stats and facts

  • Italy’s only two victories since they beat Scotland at BT Murrayfield last year were both at RWC2015, against Canada and Romania
  • Italy have not won a home test match since beating Samoa 24-13 at Ascoli in November 2014
  • Since the RBS 6 Nations began in 2000, Italy have won four times in round 3 – all against Scotland
  • Italy’s most recent victory at Stadio Olimpico was 22-15 against Ireland in round 5, 2013
  • Scotland have won just one of their last fourteen RBS 6 Nations matches: 21-20 against Italy in Rome two years ago, although six of their defeats since then have been by a margin of a score or less (7 points)
  • Scotland have won just once on the road in the RBS 6 Nations since 2010 – in this equivalent fixtures two years ago
  • Scotland have been victorious in their round three encounter in two of the past three years.
  • Italy’s only victory in their last six test matches with Scotland was 22-19 at Murrayfield last year, whilst the last time they achieved back-to-back victories over Scotland in the Championship was in 2007 & 2008


Saturday February 27, 4.50pm - ITV1
England v Ireland

Match stats and facts

  • England are yet to concede a try in the opening two rounds of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations. Only two other sides have achieved this before, France eventually conceding a try after 201 minutes in 2000, and Ireland in 217 minutes in 2014
  • England’s only defeat in their last eleven matches in the Championship was 9-19 to Ireland in Dublin in round 3 last year
  • England have lost their last two matches at Twickenham, against Wales and Australia in RWC2015, but have not lost three in a row at the venue since 2008
  • England have not lost at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations since Wales were the visitors in round 3 in 2012
  • Ireland are without a win in the opening two rounds, the first time this has occurred in the Championship since they were “whitewashed” in 1998
  • Ireland’s only victory in their last four RBS 6 Nations matches was 40-10 on their visit to BT Murrayfield in round 5 last season
  • England have won five of their last six test matches against Ireland whilst Ireland’s solitary victory at Twickenham since 2006 was 20-16 during the RBS 6 Nations in 2010


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