The Rugby Pod co-hosts Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton are at odds over who will win the Guinness Six Nations title this year, ex-England out-half Goode backing his fellow countrymen to retain the championship clinched in Rome last October but ex-Scotland second row Jim Hamilton has instead backed Ireland for glory.
Rome will be the venue when the 2021 tournament kicks off this Saturday and it will all culminate 42 days later in Paris when the final game of the 15 matches is played. By that stage, both Pod hosts believe the title will have been clinched in Dublin earlier that March 20 day but they are divided over whether it will be England’s Owen Farrell or Ireland’s Johnny Sexton who will be lifting the trophy.
Goode, who was capped on 17 occasions by England, said: “I’m going to go England first and then I’m between France and Ireland for second. England are favourites. Ireland haven’t beaten us in donkey’s years… and, of course, I am going to back England, we’re favourites.
“We have won nine on the spin now and Eddie (Jones) is becoming more and more ruthless around how we play and making us impossible to play against. I’m going to back England first, Ireland second, France third, Wales fourth, Scotland fifth and Italy sixth. Italy haven’t won a game in about 14 years I’d say, poor blokes.”
Hamilton, who has 63 Scotland caps to his name, begged to differ from England pal Goode, however. “Ireland are going to win it,” he said. “The only game that Ireland will lose is Scotland, I’m being serious. I’m going to go England second, France third, Scotland, Wales, then Italy. Wales are going to struggle. There’s my one to six. Don’t put your house on it.”
John Mitchell has revisited the 2000 sliding doors moment that cost him 2003 World Cup glory with England
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 3, 2021
The duo also delivered their verdicts on the three opening-round matches this weekend, predicting that England, Ireland and France will be smiling about the first round of a championship where the matches are all taking place behind closed doors with no fans present.
ENGLAND vs SCOTLAND (Saturday)
JH: My heart says Scotland by four but if I was to put my mortgage on it, I am going to go England by six. I don’t know what the weather is going to do. Not that I am a weatherman or need to be. I’m going to change it again, I’m going to go England by nine. I might change my mind again later in the week. England by nine.
AG: I’m going England comfortably by 18.
JH: On the back of what?
AG: Autumn Nations Cup champions and Six Nations champions.
JH: What are you on?
WALES vs IRELAND (Sunday)
AG: I am going to go Ireland by eight.
JH: I was going to say Ireland by nine so I am going to stick with it.
ITALY vs FRANCE (Saturday)
JH: It’s a tough game sometimes for the French. It’s in Italy, it becomes more difficult for France. (Romain) Ntamack is out and the big question is, is Gregory Alldritt alright?
AG: Is he because he had a knee scope and apparently is back. Who had a knee op and is back fit two days later?
JH: The French.
AG: True, true.
JH: Italy will give them a game. Actually, Italy look better. I have seen improvements in them. Maybe not in the scoreline… no I haven’t. Let’s just say what we say every year, first 20 minutes they will be alright and then France will pull away and will put 21 on them.
AG: I’m going to go a bit less, France by 16. Away from home, no Ntamack, (Matthieu) Jalibert is good but it’s the first game.
'My dad called me before my first game and told me Digby called and was crying'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 31, 2021
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