RBS 6 Nations 2017

GWR is here to provide the analysis from rugby heroes David ‘Flats’ Flatman and Tom ‘Shanks’ Shanklin, as well as the trains to get fans to the matches.

Match previews

Wales v France, 18 March -
Paris

By Tom Shanklin

I wanted fire and passion on Friday night and Wales brought it in abundance.

I did deep down fear for the worst as Ireland were beginning their resurgence from an opening day defeat, but the boys in red were superb – North was clinical in his finishing and the lads were resilient shutting Ireland out without conceding a try.

Now it’s time to finish on a high. Paris awaits. The French pack is powerful, and I feel Wales are more than capable of matching it – Sam Warburton was a monster against Ireland and I anticipate the same venom and grit from him and the forwards on Saturday.

France did what was needed last week against Italy, a win and a bonus point, and they too would love to finish in a flourish in front of their home fans. Wales will need to be disciplined, and keep the French wingers at bay, as well as the danger man Louis Picamoles who had a great match against the Azzuri.

If we were to win, as well as England then it would be a second place finish for Wales – which would be a great way to end this tournament.

England v Ireland, 18 March - Dublin

By David Flatman

England arrive in Dublin with the pressure of the world on their shoulders.

Well, half the world anyway. The northern half. With not only a repeat Grand Slam at stake but a world record for consecutive test victories for a 'Tier One' nation, there is an awful lot to lose.

The Six Nations title is theirs, but leaving Ireland with nothing but that title to show for it would represent catastrophe for a squad on the verge of history. Admittedly, this astonishing run has not taken in a match against the All Blacks, a side justifiably and widely regarded as the best that ever played. But who cares? Not one of those English players does, I'm certain.

Ireland, though, will doubtless relish the opportunity to force the last minute, panicked cancelling of the Eddie Jones open top bus parade, and the fully catered reception with One Direction booked to play.

England begin as firm favourites, but one gets the feeling that might mean very little come Saturday afternoon.

Photo credit: Seconds Left/REX/Shutterstock