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Six Nations round three tips and predictions from Jack Ogalbe

The Six Nations returns after a fallow week, with the highlight of round three expected to be the Calcutta Cup clash between Scotland and England.

Jack Ogalbe's Six Nations round three match tips

Wales +22 @ 11/10
England to beat Scotland @
13/8
Italy +26 against France @
11/8

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Rugby Union

Setting the scene…

The game between the Scots and the English will be the middle match of round three, kicking off at 16:45 on Saturday.

Before that, unbeaten Ireland host winless Wales at 14:15, before out-of-sorts France take on enigmatic Italy at 15:00 on Sunday.

Wales +22 @ 11/10

Ireland have been brilliant. They upset the odds to outclass France 38-17 on the opening night before rotating for their 36-0 win over Italy, setting them on course for unprecedented back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams.

The big guns will likely return on Saturday to face a Wales side who almost came from 27-0 down to get something against Scotland, losing 27-26, before inexperience cost them in their 16-14 defeat to England.

Warren Gatland was clearly happy with what he saw at Twickenham, making just one change for Saturday's game, as Sam Costelow replaces fellow Scarlets fly-half Ioan Lloyd.

Wales may not be the force of old but they never go away and could prove awkward opponents before Ireland's class tells.

The enthusiasm around Ireland's excellence could be tempered by both France and Italy falling short with their basics.

Wales will be better than both, especially at the ruck and could keep their opponents within touching distance for long spells of the game.

Jack Ogalbe's tip

Gatland will have a game plan but Ireland should be too good. The handicap still looks very generous, though, while it is also worth keeping an eye on Irish hooker Dan Sheehan, who has scored three tries in two Six Nations games in 2024 and could bundle over again. 

England to beat Scotland @ 13/8

Scotland have started to dominate the Calcutta Cup, winning the trophy in 2021, 2022 and 2023.  

A fourth success would be a satisfactory way to bounce back from their 20-16 round two defeat to France, with the camp still likely smarting after the late TMO call that adjudged they had not got the ball down over the line after crashing over with the final play against Les Bleus.  

After battering and bruising their way to winning Bronze at last year's World Cup, England boss Steve Borthwick has delivered on his promise that his side will play with more adventure in the Six Nations.

There have been signs of progress in the 27-24 win over Italy and that narrow victory against Wales, but Borthwick could revert to type at Murrayfield by picking a muscular side aimed at engineering an arm wrestle.

It will also not have escaped him that Scotland's intensity has dropped in the second half of their games and the Red Rose's extra impact from the replacements bench could see them regain the Calcutta Cup.  

Jack Ogalbe's tip

Scotland snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against France, having only narrowly avoided the same fate against Wales.

England are a work in progress but the physicality they bring can help turn Saturday's match into a scrap, while the extra muscle available on their bench could punish a Scotland side that has wilted as games have gone on.

Italy +26 against France @ 11/8

France's quarter-final exit from the World Cup caused plenty of heartache. However, that despair seems to have turned into derision and the post-tournament rumours regarding a disconnect between coach Fabien Galthie and his players have been fuelled by their subsequent Six Nations showings.

Les Bleus were lacklustre against Ireland and lucky against the Scots. Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good, but their lack of structure in both games was worrying and they are understandably struggling without captain Antoine Dupont.

Sunday's visitors to Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy, which takes its turn to host as the Stade de France undergoes its pre-Olympics makeover, are Italy, who pushed England hard before injuries took their toll in their heavy defeat to Ireland.

The Azzurri should be able to recall some of those who missed out in Dublin and while they lost 60-7 when the sides met at the World Cup, the result of this game could be closer to last season's Six Nations meeting in Rome, which France won 29-24. 

Jack Ogalbe's tip

If the rumours of unrest in the France camp are true, they will become very apparent early on in Lille, with this a fixture that, on paper, they should cruise through.

The Azzurri were outclassed by Ireland but will be better for the experience and Gonzalo Quesada's side looks to have been seriously underestimated on the handicap.

Jack Ogalbe's Six Nations round three match tips

Wales +22 @ 11/10
England to beat Scotland @
13/8
Italy +26 against France @
11/8

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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