Saturday 1 October 2016

POLL: Where will Ireland finish in this year's Six Nations Championship?

Published 28/01/2016 | 16:05

Paul O' Connell offers the trophy to the rest of the team at the end of the 2015 Six Nations campaign
Paul O' Connell offers the trophy to the rest of the team at the end of the 2015 Six Nations campaign

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has dampened expectations as Ireland go in search of a record third-successive Six nations title, but how will the defending champions fare out this time around?

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The bookies rate Ireland as joint-second favourites to win the title along with Wales, whose coach Warren Gatland has labelled the champions as the most likely team to claim the trophy.

Schmidt however has admitted that the tough start means that a championship victory could well be beyond his team minus Paul O'Connell and the injured Tommy Bowe, Iain Henderson and Peter O'Mahony.

"To be as candid as I can be, I think a top-half finish would be a good Six Nations for us," Schmidt admitted at the tournament launch.

"We start with Wales and France in a six-day turnaround and then go to England.

"If we could be in the top half that means we'd have to be in front of three pretty good teams."

Where do you think Ireland will finish and who do you expect to lift the trophy at the end of the competition?

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