Rugby – The 6 Nations Season is Here

 Our Sports Correspondent

Sporting people of Moscow! It is time. Between Saturday 3 February and the grand finale on 17 March, there is only one sport worth watching, discussing, forecasting.  The annual European Six Nations Rugby Union championships are about to start.  Nothing compares to the intensity, passion, unpredictability and frantic energy of these five weekends – and that is just the spectators! One match each year against your friends, foes, neighbours. No second chances. If you are not native to one of these nations, get down the pub, and choose a colour/drink at random; you will be made most welcome, by fans of all the teams, who will be drinking together.

 This weekend, Wales v Scotland (17:15 Moscow time); then France v Ireland (19:45) and on Sunday, Italy v England (18:00) get us under way. Full tournament fixtures below.

Who is favourite? Tough to say. Defending champions England have the most players to choose among, crucial given the number of injuries following the Lions’ tour of New Zealand. Ireland and Wales are both in the middle of rebuilding as ageing superstars retire.  Scotland were the ‘so nearly there’ team of last season, and have had a great year between.  France?  It is a brave person who predicts anything about Les Bleus: hapless and hopeless one game, galactic superstars the next. Sadly, Italy have fallen behind, and there is a strong case for replacing the Azzurri with Georgia, Russia or Spain.
The organisers clearly think Wales or France will vie for the title, and have again belittled Scotland:  see the last day’s games!  They are wrong! Below is your own cut-out-&-keep fixture list. I have had a stab at the first weekend, to get you going. Good luck!

Match Schedule