Saturday 3 December 2016

Question time: Our experts give their low-down on the Six Nations

Published 29/01/2012 | 05:00

Is the Six Nations all it's cracked up to be?

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Is there a debate at 10 or are we hyping it to suit ourselves?

Who will be crowned champions on St Patrick's Day?

It's not just part of the fabric, it's the comfort blanket that keeps the game in Europe warm financially. Because of that, and its social impact, we tend to excuse the wretched games it throws up from time to time. It's hardly alone in that regard.

If it is a debate than whoever is speaking against the motion -- Jonny Sexton should start for Ireland -- has an uphill task. It's all good for business.

France, and they'll finish with a flourish in Cardiff.No! The standard of the rugby in the tournament is second rate and getting worse. Very few games get the the pulse racing any more.

Two champions, two great rugby intellects -- the see-saw battle is compelling.

France.

Saturation TV coverage for the Heineken Cup has taken a lot of the gloss from what's still a unique eight-week annual sporting carnival in north-western Europe. Italy's contribution has yet to mature, and Scotland's recent fallow period hasn't helped. Thankfully the English continue to entertain -- on and off the pitch.

No debate whatever. O'Gara is the man in the red corner, Sexton is the man in the blue corner. But the red corner has a dissenter in its ranks, and he happens to be the one making the call.

Ireland to beat England in Twickenham, followed by France slaying the dragon in Cardiff; pride the prize for Ireland, the championship for France.

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