Six Nations 2016 Betting Preview: England vs Scotland


Six Nations 2016 Betting Preview: England vs Scotland

The Six Nations Championship 2016 begins next month, and all eyes are on Eddie Jones. The new England coach will take charge of the team for the first time since replacing Stuart Lancaster, who resigned following England's disappointing run at the 2015 World Cup. Ahead of Jones’ announcement of his 33-man Elite Player Squad, here's a preview of the opening Calcutta Cup match against Scotland, taking place on 6th February.

Jones' Faces Tough Decisions Early

As expected with a new coach, there is much speculation surrounding the team selection. The RFU's elite player squad agreement means that Jones can only drop a maximum of 11 players from Lancaster's World Cup squad. One of the first decisions the Australian has to make is who to select as captain, and it looks like Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley may be poised to replace Chris Robshaw.

Three of the second rows from the World Cup – Courtney Lawes, Geoff Parling and George Kruis – are fighting fit. However, Dave Attwood and Ed Slater are both injured this year and there’s a question mark around Joe Launchbury, so it’s still not clear who will start on February 6th.

One player who's been talked about a lot in the run-up to the tournament is Maro Itoje, who can play at either lock or flanker. The 21-year-old Saracens star was left out of the final World Cup squad, but has performed excellently for his club ever since, winning the Aviva Premiership Player of the Month award in December. It will be interesting to see if, and where, he gets his debut.

Now that Chris Robshaw is playing on the blindside, the number 7 jersey is up for grabs, with several candidates vying for selection. James Haskell, Jack Clifford, Matt Kvesic, Will Fraser and Brendan O'Connor are all options for the new coach to consider on the openside. Sam Burgess' return to rugby league means that there is also a vacancy for a centre. With Henry Slade injured, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt and Sam Hill are the options for the number 12 shirt, while Jonathan Joseph and Elliot Daly appear to be battling it out for number 13.

As for Scotland, there are concerns over the fitness of young centre Mark Bennett, who injured his shoulder while playing for the Glasgow Warriors. The 22-year-old is a key member of Vern Cotter's team and scored two tries in last year's tournament, so fingers will be crossed that Bennett recovers in time. Other injury-related concerns for Cotter include Grant Gilchrist, Henry Pyrgos, Alex Dunbar and Rob Harley, who are all struggling to be fit for the tournament. Flanker has been a problem position for the Scots team for a while, and the Kiwi coach has John Hardie, Blair Cowan, Chris Fusaro and John Barclay to choose from.

England's Clean Slate

England’s performance at the World Cup was hugely disappointing, with the team going out in the group stages on home soil. However, with a new coach comes a clean slate, and the team should be rejuvenated under Eddie Jones’ direction. England finished second in last year’s tournament, and despite their poor show at the World Cup, they are favourites to win the Six Nations, with most bookies putting them at 7/4.

Scotland Looking for More in 2016

Scotland’s 2015 was characterised by signs of promise being undermined by a defensive frailty against the bigger nations. They were impressive at the World Cup, and were extremely unlucky to lose to Australia in the quarter-finals after referee Craig Joubert awarded the Wallabies a last-minute penalty. The Scots haven't won the tournament since it became the Six Nations in 2000, and are 16/1 to win it this year with Coral Sports.


England have won the last six matches against their old rival, with Scotland not winning since the 2008 Six Nations. Eddie Jones’ men are best priced at 4/9 with William Hill Sports, while the Scots are 21/10 with Betfred Sports. Meanwhile, your best odds for a draw are 22/1 with bet365 Sports.

Recommended Betting Sites

*T&C's apply to each offer, click Play Now for more details

Betting Strategy Articles

Bookies Lean Towards DeGale Bringing the WBC Belt Back to Britain

This weekend sees the long-awaited unification fight between James DeGale and Badou Jack to determine who is top dog in boxing’s super-middleweight division. Will DeGale back up his claim for a "massi ... Read More

Too Many Teams? Check Out What Teams Punters Should Back in the Africa Cup of Nations

It remains something of a hidden gem in the football calendar, but the biennial African Cup of Nations should really be a fixture in any self-respecting punter’s almanac. Why? Because some of the worl ... Read More

Top Bets to Consider During the Australian Open 2017

The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2017 kicks off 'Down Under' as hundreds of tennis players descend upon Melbourne, determined to start the New Year with a bang. The local spectators will be r ... Read More

Should Punters be Backing Underdog Clemson Against the Tide?

Reigning champions Alabama Crimson Tide have surged through the competition to win their place in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The team they beat to claim the 2015 title, the Un ... Read More

Should Punters Trust Saban and the Tide to Repeat in College Football Playoffs 2016?

Romanian pop artist Nicole Cherry is scheduled to perform at halftime during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championships at the Raymond James Stadium in Florida, but what everyone really ... Read More

Top 10 Contenders for Christmas Number One 2016

The battle for the Christmas Number One Single is as much a part of the festive season in the United Kingdom as mince pies and the Queen’s Speech. The festive charts have been dominated by X Factor wi ... Read More

Betting Navigation


Sign up for the free Newsletter to stay on top of all the best bonuses!
We will never share or misuse your personal information. Privacy Policy

Latest Betting Strategy

Betting Guides

Country Guide