Six Nations 2023 round four predictions: Italy vs Wales, England vs France and Scotland vs Ireland rugby tips

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Rugby’s Greatest Championship returns as Warren Gatland’s side head to Rome, Le Crunch takes place at Twickenham and Scotland face Ireland for the Triple Crown.

It’s been a brilliant Six Nations Championship already and there are still two rounds of fixtures to go with so much still to be played for, a lot of which could be decided this weekend.

It all kicks off on Saturday as Italy host Wales in Rome in what very much looks like the Wooden Spoon decider before Le Crunch at Twickenham where a win for England over France could give Ireland the chance to win the title this weekend. Andy Farrell takes his side to Murrayfield on Sunday where the Scots will be determined to not only have their say but also lift the Triple Crown for the first time in over 30 years. Here are our predictions for round four of the 2023 Six Nations Championship:

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Italy vs Wales

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Many predicted this to be the Wooden Spoon decider before the tournament kicked off and it very much looks like that will be the case. Wales sit bottom of the table after three rounds with zero points while Italy are just above them courtesy of the losing bonus point they picked up against France in round one.

While the Italians have earned plenty of plaudits in this tournament so far for their positive approach, which has also been noticeably more organised than in previous years, the same can’t be said of Wales and there has been very little to cheer about with problems still mounting on and off the pitch. Incredibly, this may be the first time in a very long time that there has been real pressure to win on the Azzurri going into a fixture and it will be interesting to see how they cope.

Our prediction: Italy to win by 10 points or less. The bookmakers can barely call this one and have the visitors as narrow favourites but, in our mind, it’s the hosts who just edge it. Last year’s win in Cardiff was huge for the Italians but this year they need to build on their momentum over the past 12 months and follow it up with another win which would almost certainly ensure they avoid the Wooden Spoon for the first time since 2015. It’s going to be close but we’re backing the Azzuri to do it.

England vs France

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Le Crunch has traditionally been one of if not the most competitive fixture in Six Nations history and we expect this Saturday to be no different. France bounced back from their round two defeat to Ireland with a win over Scotland in Paris while England have been slowly building momentum under Steve Borthwick since their round one Calcutta Cup defeat.

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Borthwick is beginning to make his mark on the England side and looks close to having nailed down his strongest starting XV but this match will be a big step up from their previous two against a developing Italy at Twickenham and a struggling Wales in Cardiff. France are still very much the side that lifted the Grand Slam last year and have looked every bit as brilliant even if the score lines haven’t looked quite so convincing. A win in London would be another statement from Les Bleus as they get set to host the Rugby World Cup later this year.

Our prediction: France to win by 10 points or less. This one should be competitive and England can’t be ruled out but we still think France will have enough to just about get over the line. The hosts are still a work in progress while the visitors are the complete package and should demonstrate that at Twickenham to set up a title deciding weekend with Ireland, and potentially Scotland, in the final round of fixtures.

Scotland vs Ireland

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This may very well be the biggest fixture in Scottish rugby since the inception of the Six Nations at the turn of the millenium while it’s also a huge one for Grand Slam chasing Ireland. A win for the Scots not only gives them the Triple Crown and puts them in contention for the Championship going into the final weekend but would also be a first win over the Irish in seven attempts - overcoming a much needed mental block ahead of the World Cup where the two are in the same pool along with reigning champions South Africa.

As for Ireland, this group of players knows that the Grand Slam is the real prize and only three previous Irish sides have accomplished that feat. It would put them alongside the great sides from 2009 and 2018, reaffirm their status as the current best team in the world and give them a huge boost going into the World Cup. Standing in their way this weekend is a resurgent Scotland but the odds, form and recent history are all in their favour.

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Our prediction: Ireland to win by 10 points or less. It’s going to take something special from Scotland to overcome this Irish side and, with home advantage, they are certainly capable of that. However, we’re going for a clean sweep of 10 point or less victories in our predictions for round four and expect Andy Farrell’s side to once again just have that bit too much in the tank for the Scots.

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