The early Six Nations Rugby Championship table continues to take shape this weekend, with the second round of fixtures across Europe.
All eyes are on the Stade de France for a fascinating fixture between Les Bleus and Ireland on Saturday, with both nations winning their opening match last weekend.
Wales go up against Scotland earlier in the day in Cardiff, before England look to put their opening round loss behind them against Italy.
Six Nations 2021: Predictions for 12 – 13 February
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team?s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Score margins use the methodology developed by Rugby Vision.
The predictions for each match follow below the short preview and team news for each individual Six Nations match this coming weekend.
Wales vs Scotland
The second round of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship kicks off on Saturday afternoon when Wales welcome Scotland to Cardiff.
Contrasting fortunes befell the British pair on the opening weekend.
Wayne Pivac’s reigning champions were never in the game at the Aviva Stadium as they slipped to a 29-7 defeat away to Ireland.
But it could hardly have gone better for the Scots, who took full advantage of a raucous Hampden Park to edge out Auld Enemy England 20-17 and seal back-to-back Calcutta Cup victories.
Josh Adams misses out for the hosts through injury, while there’s a start at eighth man for Ross Moriarty and a debut for Jac Morgan at flank.
It’s all change in the front row for Townsend, who calls up South African duo Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel either side of hooker Stuart McInally.
Wales Starting XV: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Louis Rees-Zammit, 10 Dan Biggar (captain), 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Taine Basham, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Jonathan Davies.
Scotland Starting XV: 15 Stuart Hogg (captain), 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Sam Skinner, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Magnus Bradbury, 20 Rory Darge, 21 Ben White, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Cameron Redpath.
France vs Ireland
Rugby fans looking for a game of the weekend need look no further than the Stade de France on Saturday, as France collide with Ireland in the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship.
Both nations made winning starts to the 2022 competition on home turf a week ago.
The Irish romped into an impressive, unassailable lead against reigning champions Wales in Dublin, eventually running out 29-7 victors at the Aviva Stadium.
Wooden spoon candidates Italy were no match for Les Bleus, meanwhile, who made light of the Covid-19-enforced absence of coach Fabien Galthie to rack up a 37-10 opening victory.
Francois Cros and Yoram Moefana are both included, as coach Fabien Galthie makes two changes from the opening weekend.
Veteran Johnny Sexton misses out through injury for the Irish, paving the way for Joey Carbery to make his maiden Six Nations start at fly-half.
France Starting XV: 15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Yoram Moefana, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Thibaud Flament, 21 Dylan Cretin, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Thomas Ramos.
Ireland Starting XV: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan (captain), 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Andrew Porter, 1 Ronan Kelleher.
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Peter O?Mahony, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Robbie Henshaw.
Italy vs England
England are on the hunt for their first win of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship when they travel to play Italy on Sunday.
It’s a second successive away fixture to kick off the competition for Eddie Jones’ side, who were made to rue some fine margins in their opening round defeat away to Scotland at Murrayfield.
What the Azzurri would give for a defeat by the only try, as they come into round two off the back of a 37-10 loss away to France last weekend.
Jones has wielded the axe, too, with six starting changes to the Red Rose’s run-on team.
Jamie George and Will Stuart start in the front row, while Harry Randall plays at scrum-half.
Federico Mori comes in on the wing for the Italians, with Braam Steyn starting at flank and prop Pietro Ceccarelli drafted into the front row.
Italy Starting XV: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Federico Mori, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Braam Steyn, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Epalahame Faiva, 17 Cherif Traore?, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 David Sisi, 20 Sebastian Blacks, 21 Giovanni Pettinelli, 22 Alessandro Fusco, 23 Leonardo Marin.
England Starting XV: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Max Malins, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Tom Curry (captain), 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 George Ford, 23 Elliot Daly.