Posted by: fiore | February 3, 2010

2010 Six Nations Championship

Only 3 days to go to the 2010 Six Nations Championship and, I can’t remember where, I’ve read that France are apparently the front-runners… but since we all have our personal opinion on the matter, I will say that I completely disagree and I foresee Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll raising the 6 Nation Trophy for the second year in a row ! As for the other competitors, I think Italy is once again at the bottom of the barrel (sigh!), while France & England will fight for the second place and Wales & Scotland for the fourth place.

Ireland‘s strenght is definitely the positive season they had last year and basically, apart from back rower Stephen Ferries out due to injury and replaced by debutant Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), the team is unchanged: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

France coach Marc Lièvremont keeps on with his policy with testing young players in anticipation of 2011 RWC, with centre Mathieu Bastareaud back in the team along with the 20-year-old winger Benjamin Fall.

As for England, they have their talisman player, Jonny Wilkinson, back and fully fit, and basically there are not major or exciting changes in the team.Two players to watch: hooker Dylan Hartley and scrum-half Danny Care.

With their win over Australia last November, Scotland have displayed great improvements in the forwards unit: I guess Massimo Cuttitta‘s work is paying off. For my friend Giorgia‘s delight Chris Paterson is still in the team and is not a one-trick pony, coach Robinson says! The 31-year-old will win his 99th cap when France visit Murrayfield on Sunday. Congratulations to Mossy!

Wales haven’t made any major change in the team and centre Jamie Roberts will be of capital importance to bring some sparks in Welsh game.

As for Italy, well, year after year we keep on repeating the same refrain: strong forwards & useless backs. We have a powerful scrum but when we gain the ball we hardly know what to do with it. Are all the players dumb? Is the gameplan too difficult? Is there a gameplan, by the way? 😯 Anyway, at least, for the first time in years, we’ll have a young Italian stand-off in the line-up: uncapped Riccardo Bocchino has been selected by coach Nick Mallet in the 24-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland, and “will prove cover for first choice No.10 Craig Gower, who is struggling with a knee injury”.

Best of luck to Riccardo, who’s non-the-less than Luigi “Er Principe” Bocchino‘s cousin, an old acquaitance of mine (at least something good has come out of that family!!!) 😀

So, what’s do you think of my rant? Any comment?

Here are the fixtures of the 2010 Tournament:

2010 Six Nations Championship Fixtures

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