The second round of Six Nations fixtures kick off with Scotland v Italy & France v Wales, with Betvictor releasing the latest odds on all the rugby markets as the Gibaltar based firm report there is plenty of interest on Les Blues to bounce back with a convincing win at of Stade De France.
For both of these sides the opening weekend of Six Nations action was one they will wish to forget.
The Welsh were left dumbfounded after Ireland raced into a 20-0 lead inside half an hour; going onto lose the game 30-22, whilst France suffered one of their worst defeats in their history courtesy of a 23-18 reverse against the Italians.
For the French especially, it was a hammer blow to their chances of lifting the Six Nations.
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had been installed as favourites for the title after impressing over the winter period, but following the Italy defeat they are now out to 7/1 with Ladbrokes as the tournament now looks a straight shootout between England and Ireland.
Wales, who only 12 months ago were celebrating a heroic Grand Slam success after coming so close to making the World Cup final, are now in turmoil. They haven’t registered a single victory since last year’s tournament and the way in which they let Ireland run in three early tires against them last week suggest a lack of cohesion within the camp.
Wales have not won in France since a Grand Slam-winning campaign back in 2005 and although the French will be lacking confidence following the Italy game, the market support is hugely with the hosts. France are as short as 1/4 in the win market with Bet365 as bookmakers believe Wales could be on the end of a French hammering.
The visitors can be backed at a best-priced 100/30 with Bet365 to triumph.
Wales’ hopes of returning home from France with any sort of result have also been a dealt a blow with the news that key man and skipper Sam Warburton has been ruled out of the game with a shoulder injury.
He has been replaced by Justin Tipuric with the experienced Ryan Jones standing in as captain.
Wales’ back division is unchanged despite criticism of their misfiring performance against Ireland. Perhaps the three tries they ran in during a mini-comeback last week have saved their bacon. One of those scorers Leigh Halfpenny is always a threat on the international scene and interestingly he has been backed to score again this week.
Online firm 888Sport.com have seen a wave of money for the full-back to score a try at any-time during the match at a juicy looking 4/1.
Meanwhile, France have made two changes to the team beaten by Italy. Like Wales, the French are missing their influential captain Pascal Pape, who has been replaced by Jocelin Suta. Centre Mathieu Bastareaud also earns a recall at the expense of Florian Fritz.
Bastareaud is a real powerhouse of a ball carrier and Wales showed against Ireland that the midfield area is somewhere that can be exploited by a strong running player. With this is mind backing Basareaud to score at any-time with Bet365 at 11/4 looks a punt to consider.
France’s conquerors from the opening weekend, Italy, have a good opportunity to continue their 100% record in the tournament thus far as they travel to Murrayfield to take on Scotland.
Italy have four wins from the previous six Six Nations meetings between the two sides, and are being backed at a best-priced 13/8 to continue that fruitful record. Scotland however will be well aware that only one of those victories came at Murrayfield and it’s fair comment that Italy aren’t the same side away from home.
The hosts are favourites for the clash and can be backed at a best-priced 8/13 with 888Sport.com.