The Breakdown: A statistical look at the third round of Six Nations matches

By Sports Desk February 22, 2019

England's trip to Wales looks primed to be a pivotal clash in the outcome of this year's Six Nations and the mind games started early.

Eddie Jones described Warren Gatland's outfit as "the greatest Welsh team ever", although the Wales coach was quick to reject that claim.

Jones is likely to be trying to deflect pressure and attention away from his side after England installed themselves as tournament favourites with a victory in Ireland followed by a dominant home success against France.

Wales are the other side with a 100 per cent record in this year's competition, but Scotland and Ireland are still in with a shot at claiming the title and will have a keen eye on events in Cardiff.

With the help of Opta, we take a statistical look at the third round of matches.

France v Scotland

A chastening 44-8 loss at Twickenham left France reeling and a showdown with Scotland no longer provides the historical comfort it once might have.

France won 15 of their first 16 Six Nations matches against Scotland but have lost two of the previous three.

Greig Laidlaw will have a personal milestone on his radar, requiring just two points to overtake Gavin Hastings (667) as Scotland’s second top points scorer behind Chris Paterson (809).

 

Wales v England

Everything points to a nail-biting clash in the Welsh capital on Saturday, despite England's relative dominance of this fixture.

Each of the last five meetings between the two in the Six Nations have been won by England, but the most recent four of those triumphs have been by a margin smaller than that of a converted try.

Wales will have their sights set on a slice of history, knowing that beating England would make it a national record 12 wins in a row.

Italy v Ireland

Italy have come away from their first two games empty handed and the omens against reigning champions Ireland do not bode well.

Ireland have won 18 of their 19 Six Nations games versus Italy, who themselves have been beaten in 33 of their last 34 fixtures with tier-one opponents.

There is one thing going in the hosts' favour, though, as their last win at the Stadio Olimpico in the Six Nations came in 2013 against Ireland.

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