Six Nations 2022: Pundits views on who will win and predict your final table

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Dates: 5 February to 19 March
Coverage: Selected matches dwell on BBC TV, commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live & Sports Extra, podcasts on BBC Sounds, dwell textual content and highlights on BBC Sport web site and app.

Trying to predict a Six Nations champion is a harmful enterprise.

Just as reliably because the seasons change from winter to spring, a as soon as favoured workforce falls to a shock defeat and abruptly an outdoor probability is chasing a Grand Slam.

Last yr, it was Wales who stormed up the house straight to take the title.

This yr, it appears tighter than ever, with solely Italy – who have completed final yearly since 2015 – thought-about out of the working.

Have a go at predicting your 2022 Six Nations table on the backside of this web page. To make it easier to alongside the best way, BBC Radio 5 Live’s panel of former players have given their ideas on every of the 5 groups who might bag the trophy.

Wales – ‘The full underdogs’

Last yr: Winners

In the autumn: Suffered a heavy defeat by New Zealand, then misplaced to South Africa, earlier than beating Fiji and Australia.

Former Wales captain Philippa Tuttiett: “Everyone’s writing off Wales – we are the full underdogs.

“We’re lacking some huge names [Lions Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Josh Navidi, Dan Lydiate, George North and Leigh Halfpenny are all injured].

“Captain Alun Wyn Jones has been concerned in each Six Nations for a very long time – lacking the likes of him is big.

“The massive names we’re lacking are the backbone of our scrum so on the subject of set-piece we may very well be weakened.

“In the unfastened, the likes of Ellis Jenkins, Taine Basham and Aaron Wainwright are going to be actually good for us – they’re an athletic, agile again row that’s going to be all around the rucks.”

Six Nations table showing Wales top after all games played
How the Six Nations completed in 2021

France – ‘They must ship’

Last yr: Second

In the autumn: Beat New Zealand, Argentina and Georgia.

Former France hooker Benjamin Kayser: “We’ve been ready for a very long time to win the Six Nations, since 2010 in truth.

“The calendar of the Six Nations is essential. We have three dwelling video games, two away video games, and one man lacking in the entire line-up – centre Arthur Vincent. You cannot complain.

“The ticket of favourites is put on France which is one thing they are going to must take care of.

“The nation is buzzing – everyone seems to be delighted to see a Six Nations with packed crowds – however that is often the scenario once we crash probably the most.

“That scares me however I hope this workforce has grown – the backbone is powerful so I’m actually optimistic.

“The expectation is completely different due to the shadow of the 2023 World Cup which France will host.

“To be good they must beat one of the best groups on this planet, and within the autumn they beat New Zealand.

“But additionally they must win titles. For that they should ship on this Six Nations.”

Ireland – ‘There is big optimism’

Last yr: Third

In the autumn: Beat New Zealand, Japan and Argentina

Former Ireland again Shane Horgan:

“The anxiousness is constructing as a result of Ireland are taking part in one of the best rugby they’ve in a few years. If not fairly favourites, they don’t seem to be far off.

“If Ireland can switch the shape they undoubtedly had within the autumn into this Six Nations, they give the impression of being fairly formidable.

“There is big optimism round Ireland for the time being. The provinces are all performing, people are all performing.

“There was a protracted lead into getting Ireland into the form that all of us thought they may get into.

“Things modified within the England recreation within the final recreation of the 2021 Six Nations.

“That day we have been taking part in a special model of rugby – far more expansive, a lot much less risk-averse. We noticed a discount within the quantity of box-kicking, and have been attacking from deep.

“We noticed the skillset of our forwards being exploited – a lot dealing with – and the depth was a lot better.

“There’s the core elements for a very profitable Six Nations.

“While I’m cautiously optimistic about Ireland’s possibilities, the very fact they must go away to France to strive and flip them over there, towards a reinvigorated aspect and supporters – my intestine feeling is that is only a bridge too far.”

Scotland – ‘This must be Scotland’s yr’

Last yr: Fourth

In the autumn: Beat Tonga and Australia, then misplaced to South Africa earlier than beating Japan

Former Scotland captain John Barclay: “Everyone is speaking up Scotland however I’m making an attempt to maintain a stage on it as a result of I’ve been right here so many instances as a participant.

“I’m effervescent with pleasure however I’ve been burnt too many instances. I’m a bit bit nervous about individuals speaking about Scotland the best way they’re.

“This Scotland aspect has to ship in some unspecified time in the future and I consider it must be this yr as a result of the gamers are of their prime.

“Picking up your dwelling wins – Scotland have England and France – is important and they have to go away to Dublin on the final weekend, plus they have to go to the Principality [in Cardiff] too, which hasn’t been a cheerful searching floor.

“I do consider this must be Scotland’s yr – the standard is there. We noticed that represented on the British and Irish Lions tour, however I additionally understand how good the opposite groups are.

England – ‘They have extra slack and will profit’

Last yr: Fifth

In the autumn: Beat South Africa, Australia and Tonga

Former England captain Matt Dawson: “England have been hit by some accidents however that is the workforce that beat South Africa within the autumn – you’ll have thought they’d no probability towards the world champions.

“They have been hanging on a bit bit within the second half and they got here by mentally and nicked it.

“It offers me a little bit of confidence about this youthful England aspect and the laissez-faire mindset they appear to have.

“In the previous, beneath Stuart Lancaster for instance, it was once fairly on the leash.

“I feel [head coach] Eddie Jones is giving them their very own slack to play. I feel it’s going to profit England in the long term.”

Dawson, Horgan and Kayser all predict France will win the event, with Tuttiett going for Ireland. What do you assume? Predict your final 2022 Six Nations table beneath.

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