The 2015 Six Nations, has the potential to be one of the most closely fought in years

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The 2015 Six Nations, has the potential to be one of the most closely fought in years, with England, Ireland, Wales and possibly France, all believing they have what it takes to come out on top.

The defending champions, Ireland, enjoyed a fantastic 2014, cementing their Six Nations title with victories in the autumn internationals over Australia and South Africa. Currently, there is huge competition for places in the Irish team and this, coupled with the form the team is in, could be enough to see them top the table again this time around. One point of concern will be the fitness of Jonathan Sexton but Ireland will believe, that they can defeat Italy in their first match without the fly-half.

Wales meet England in Cardiff on the first weekend of fixtures, in what could be a decisive game for both of these teams. Warren Gatland will see this a big opportunity to put a marker down, not only for this tournament but also the World Cup later in the year, when Wales play England at Twickenham. England are likely to be without a host of players for this match and Wales need to take advantage of that and claim the win, if they are to have any chance of topping the Six Nations Table. However, a win for England in this match and their confidence levels will be high, leaving Cardiff knowing that they have what it takes to defeat a team like Wales, even when the squad is somewhat depleted.

France, have a potentially great back-line for this tournament but then it will not be the first time that this has been the case and they have gone on to disappoint. A good win over Australia in the 2014 autumn internationals was dampened by defeat to Argentina and this highlights France’s problem, they are inconsistent. France have, what they would consider to be, a good chance to get off the mark strongly against Scotland in their opening match but also face difficult trips to Ireland and England.

Scotland put in some solid performances during the autumn internationals but it is difficult to see them troubling the top teams again in 2015. Their main concern could be preventing Italy from finishing above them and the match between the two teams at Murrayfield, could go a long way to deciding who finishes bottom of the table.

The bookmakers have Ireland and England as favourites to win the 2015 Six Nations, however, it is difficult to discount Wales, who have the opportunity to dent England’s hopes during the first round of fixtures. The real deciding factor could be the meeting between Wales and Ireland, at the Millennium Stadium in the fourth round of fixtures. If Ireland win that one, it could be all over before the final round of matches are played.

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