In view of all the euphoria in the media and with fans I thought it might be sensible to get a sense of proportion and put some perspective on the 6 Nations.
Whilst the tournament doesn’t even start for another 9 days there is already talk of the game in Dublin on 18th March being a ‘Grand Slam’ decider.
I seem to remember similar talk some 16 months ago when it was taken for granted that the World Cup final would be between England and the All Blacks – well, they were half right then I suppose.
To suggest that this is going to be a two horse race is not simply disrespectful to the other 4 nations, it can come back to bite you – as we found out at the end of 2015.
Naturally I hope that England do go to Dublin still unbeaten, but it is a big hope. Not only are their some pretty worrying injuries, but there have been some advances by all the other nations, with the possible exception of Wales, since the World Cup.
Scotland are looking strong, Italy beat the Springboks and France were highly competitive against the All Blacks – who were beaten by Ireland.
It would also be stupid to write off Wales – especially as we are headed off to the Principality Stadium on February 11th .
Not to mention the Aviva on the 18th March
At least Eddie Jones is keeping a sense of proportion – he has ignored talk of a Grand Slam or even winning the tournament – his only focus is on the dangerous French team –
“It is going to be a tough Six Nations. The other sides have improved enormously and that is only good for the tournament. The expectation on us is higher this year and the players have to focus hard on the job in hand, not be swayed by frivolous talk.”
When you throw in the new bonus point system and the probability that there will be more yellow and red cards this year then you have a very unpredictable situation. Red cards can change a game on the turn of a ..well…card!
One final thought – England training camps are dangerous places as we found out in Brighton – when the coach turns up looking like he’s taken the piss out of Billy Vunipola then you have to keep your fingers crossed for the rest of the squad!