Article

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

23 février 2018 09:00

It is crunch time in the Six Nations this weekend, with a crucial Calcutta Cup clash in Edinburgh taking place and Ireland looking to end their Wales rut.

England are aiming to win a third straight championship and second Grand Slam in the space of three years, and are protecting a proud recent record against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Ireland have designs on a clean sweep of victories themselves and welcome a Wales side to Dublin who have proved troublesome in recent history.

France's build-up to their fixture against Italy has been blighted by off-field problems, but Jacques Brunel will see the visit of the Azzurri as a great opportunity to end a barren run.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the best stats ahead of the third round of matches.

 

France v Italy

France are enduring one of their poorest runs in 50 years, with their eight-game winless run their worst since 1968-69 when they went 11 matches without a win.

Mathieu Bastareaud returns from suspension for the alleged use of a homophobic slur, and will add much-needed muscle in Les Bleus' midfield for what will be his first Six Nations match since 2015.

History does not favour Italy, who have beaten France just twice in 18 Six Nations contest – lifting the Giuseppe Garibaldi trophy in 2011 and 2013.

Opposing coach Jacques Brunel is a familiar face for the Azzurri, having previously coach Italy and led them to win over his home country five years ago.

 

Ireland v Wales

Ireland will have to arrest a poor run of form against Wales to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive, with Joe Schmidt's men having failed to win in the last three contests between the teams – their worst sequence since an eight-game streak between 1971 and 1979.

Home comforts should provide some relief, though, with no side leaving Dublin with a win since England's 12-6 win in 2013 – Ireland since winning 10 and drawing two at the Aviva Stadium.

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