Six Nations Rugby: Round 5 Preview
15th March 2016
The curtain comes down on the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship on Saturday. Uniquely, the champions are already known before Round 5 has even kicked off - England claiming their first title since 2011 when Scotland beat France on Sunday.
The final round begins in Cardiff where a Welsh victory would ensure a second-place finish for the first time ever, but Italy will be anxious to prevent their first whitewash since 2009.
Game two on Saturday is in Dublin with the champions for the past two years trying not to repeat their worst ever finish of 5th in 2013, whilst Scotland are aiming to win a third successive RBS 6 Nations match for the first time.
Eyes then turn to Paris for the final game with England out to achieve a Grand Slam for the first time for 13 years. Their hosts will be determined to preserve a good recent home record and prevent their opponents from claiming the coveted prize.
WALES v ITALY
Saturday March 19, 2.30pm - BBC
Stats and Facts
- Wales seven game unbeaten run in the RBS 6 Nations ended at Twickenham on Saturday
- Wales have won their round 5 fixture for the past four seasons
- The Welshmen have won their last five test matches at Principality Stadium whilst their only RBS 6 Nations defeat there in their last eight encounters was to England in round 1 last year
- Italy have lost their last six RBS 6 Nations fixtures since beating Scotland 22-19 at BT Murrayfield in round 3 last year
- Italy have only ever won two RBS 6 Nations away matches, both in Edinburgh
- Wales have won their last nine test matches against Italy since the Italians were victorious in Rome 23- 20 in 2007
- The closest Italy have ever come to beating Wales in Wales was an 18-all draw at Principality Stadium in 2006
IRELAND v SCOTLAND
Saturday March 19, kick-off 5pm - ITV
Stats and Facts
- Ireland’s four game winless run in test matches ended with their comfortable victory over Italy last Saturday
- The Irishmen are unbeaten in their last eight RBS 6 Nations encounters at Aviva Stadium - their best ever home run in the history of the Championship
- Scotland are attempting to win a third game in a single RBS 6 Nations campaign for only the second time – the previous being in 2006 – and have not won three successive Championship games since 1996
- Scotland have not been victorious in their round 5 encounter since beating Italy at Murrayfield in 2011
- Scotland’s only win in their last five fixtures with Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations was 12-8 at BT Murrayfield in 2013
- Scotland’s only RBS 6 Nations victory in Dublin came at Croke Park in 2010, whilst they have not been victorious at Lansdowne Road/Aviva Stadium since a 17-16 win in 1998
FRANCE v ENGLAND
Saturday March19, kick-off 8pm - BBC
Stats and Facts
- France have lost their last two RBS 6 Nations matches, in Wales and in Scotland, but at Stade de France they have won their last four test matches since losing there to Wales in round 3 last season
- The Frenchmen have lost their round 5 fixture for the past two seasons
- England are attempting to win a 13th grand slam, although their recent record in matches where they could have attained a grand slam is not good, winning only one of their last six opportunities, and that in 2003, with all matches being played away from home
- England are bidding to become only the third side to have won an RBS 6 Nations grand slam after playing thee of their games away from home – the others being Wales in 2005 and Ireland in 2009
- France have on four previous occasions stopped an opponent from claiming a grand slam, beating England, Wales and Ireland in Paris in 1954, 1965 and 1982 respectively, and Wales in Cardiff in 1988
- The last five test matches between France and England have all been won by the home side on the day whilst England’s only victory at the Stade de France since 2008 was 24-22 in 2012.