by Jo McGilchrist Ex Wasps RRFC and England WRFC winner   

It is that time of year again, when winter becomes spring, you find yourself going into hibernation in late January and being born out again in spring. Hang-up the do not disturb sign, sit back and relax, it's 6 nations time.

After the northern hemispheres' disappointment at the world cup, the teams' have been forced to turn over a new leaf. New blood is being let in the form of players and coaches and the fight to scramble back to the peak begins.

A quick review of the RWC 2015 would put the 6 nations in some kind of order like this: 6th Italy, 5th England, 4th France, 3rd Ireland, 2nd Wales and 1st Scotland (who ever thought ‘oh flower of Scotland' would ring around Twickenham?!). So the first match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield was huge. On paper the jocks should have won but they continued their 8 year streak of being unable to beat the Rose.

Ireland v Wales is always a great match. Two nations deeply passionate about rugby, clash in one of two of the best venues in world rugby. A draw, probably a fair reflection of their desire and passion and some encouraging rugby played along the way.France v Italy: quid pro quo, France uninspiring and a sense from the crowd - will they ever return to what they were 10 years ago? Italy spearheaded by the great Parisse but it is a team sport and you need more then one Parisse in a world class XV.

So to the second weekend. The scoreboard flattered England although there were some good skills on show from Danny Care and finally we're scoring in the centers. Wales v Scotland is where the excitement was that weekend, so note to self, Wales may be the ones to watch this tournament, if not as favorites, at least to get our pulses going. Ireland v France, I'm afraid I cannot really comment, I fell asleep.

To round 3. The traditional wooden spoon match between Italy and Scotland. Can Scotland find their world cup form or can others in the Italian side stand up for glory? If Scotland do not come away victorious it will be the most disappointing 6 nations in a while for them, so much potential that continues to underperform. Wales v France could be exciting. Will Wales force France to play exciting rugby or will France continue to rely on their size and mass. England v Ireland I feel could be the match of the 6 nations. England are an evolving side, currently devoid of stringent coach expectations and statistics to ‘hit', they have been given the freedom to play and I hope they take it. Both sides can play interesting rugby but someone will have to make the first move to take a gamble, roll the dice without fear of repercussions and I feel it could happen in this match...

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