France’s main rivals are Ireland and England. But both teams are coming to Stade de France.
Which other European country was ruled by the All Blacks in November? Simply Ireland. That’s why it looks like the winner of the tournament in the same way as France, even if it has to move to Stade de France. Like their provinces, they have qualified for the knockout stages of the European Cup, including the notable Leinster, who have scored 100 points in their last two matches. The 16 players in Ireland’s group selected by Andy Farrell to start the tournament are from the province of Leinster. Their names are: O Mahoney, Furlong, Ryan, Conon, Healy, Henshaw, Ringgros, Larmore, Aki. Becoming Joe Schmidt’s successor was not easy. However, this is what coach Andy Farrell does, who can rely on a very rich pool.
England remain England, but it all depends on how Owen Farrell’s package deals with the duration of the tournament. This package is probably a boon to XV de la Rose’s disguise as it will allow young Marcus Smith to excel in the highest international tournament. It all depends on the start of the tournament for the English, who go to their favorite Scottish foes from day one. They may have a chance to play the final of the tournament in Stade de France on the final day.
Wales and Scotland will serve as outsiders, behind France, Ireland and England. The Welsh are never stingy with surprises, but they are faced without their leader, Alan-Win Jones. Scotland now has personalities who have enabled Scotland to once again be considered a European nation. For Italy, which only gets twice as much, it can be difficult to avoid another wooden spoon.
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