Gregor Townsend Jonny Holland Warren Gatland France Italy Scotland Ireland city Holland Six Nations Sport Rugby Gregor Townsend Jonny Holland Warren Gatland France Italy Scotland Ireland city Holland

Jonny Holland: Ireland biggest threat to France's Six Nations crown

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After an exciting weekend of Champions Cup permutations, the focus will now change to the more familiar format of the Six Nations tournament.In a World Cup year, there may be more factors to consider in the big picture of what determines success, however, that will depend on which camp you're in.When determining the winner, it’s crucial to bear in mind which home and away cycle we are in this year.

You can break the tournament down to the favourites, who I would deem to be Ireland and France, those in transition but could still cause a huge upset, England and Wales, and the others, Scotland and Italy.Ireland have their favoured tournament format, with England and France at home.

However, to make them favourites as a result is to undermine the threat posed by Scotland under Gregor Townsend and completely disregards how Warren Gatland may galvanise his squad in this all-important rugby year.Ireland may be the top-ranked team in the world but they became so without having to face France in the November series.

The Six Nations gives the French a chance of turning the tide before heading into a home World Cup.France would be my out and out favourites if they had their preferred draw.

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