The 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship will reach its climax on Saturday - 237 days after it was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. With three games remaining on so-called 'Super Saturday', it promises to be a thrilling title race between Ireland, England and France. Here, we look at how things might pan out, with England visiting Italy and Ireland travelling to France.
Ireland have control of the title's destiny. If they beat France in Paris on Saturday night with a bonus point, Andy Farrell's team will be crowned champions. Victory without a four-try bonus might still be enough, even if - as expected - England claim five points against Italy in Rome. Tied teams are separated by points difference, and Ireland are currently 23 points better off than England in that department. Ireland will also know exactly what they have to do, as the Stade de France encounter is Saturday's final game.
Eddie Jones' men need to see off Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in emphatic fashion, but that is a likely scenario, given that England have beaten the Azzurri in all 26 previous meetings and scored more than 1,000 points. England could require something like a 40-point winning margin or more, yet that is something they have managed on six previous occasions in the championship's 20-year history. All England can do is complete their part of the job done in pursuit of a first Six Nations title since 2017, then wait while France and Ireland get to grips with each other in Paris.
France have been revitalised under new head coach Fabien Galthie, beating England and then Wales in Cardiff as they claimed three wins from their first four starts of this season's Six Nations tournament. Losing to Scotland last time out, though, dented their title chances. They warmed up for Ireland by easily seeing off Wales in a friendly last weekend, but they will effectively need a comprehensive bonus-point win, should Les Bleus topple Ireland for only a second time in the countries' last seven championship meetings.