Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Andrew predicts dramatic finale

Former England fly-half Rob Andrew predicts an afternoon of "incredible drama" awaits in Saturday's climax to the 2015 RBS 6 Nations.

Three teams are hoping to be seen as the dominant force in northern hemisphere rugby with England, Ireland and Wales jostling for a title that will almost certainly be decided by points difference.

A thrilling day begins in Rome where Wales will seek to put Italy to the sword before attention switches to Edinburgh and Ireland's attempt at setting a mighty total for England to overhaul against France at Twickenham.

"I suspect it will be a day of incredible drama - six hours of people gripped by what's going on," said Andrew, who won 71 caps from 1985 to 1997.

"Every minute of every game and every time a point is scored or conceded, will have a massive knock-on effect on what will happen in the last 10 minutes of England v France.

"It will probably go down to the final seconds - it did last year with the final play of the France v Ireland game.

"France had a try disallowed because of a forward pass in what was virtually the last pass of the game."

The staggered kick-offs unique to the Six Nations promise a climactic day of sporting theatre and Andrew disagrees with calls for synchronised scheduling to ensure no team has an unfair advantage.

"The fact it's three staggered kicks-offs add to the drama and make the Six Nations unique and special," Andrew said.

"I don't subscribe to the view they should all kick off at the same time because the Six Nations is not a level playing field anyway.

"The playing order is always different and you're not playing home and away each season.

"How the fixtures are thrown up is part of the drama. Each year the batting order is slightly different and that creates its own narrative.

"We've grown up with this format and it's the greatest rugby tournament in the world. The drama and colour of the games make it very, very special."

Favourites England enter the final day with a points cushion of plus four and Andrew believes they must hope Ireland prove unable to overwhelm Scotland.

"Clearly you don't want to be chasing too many points because that will affect lots of things. Limiting the target against France to one score is where you want to start," Andrew said.

"I believe if we bring the level of intensity and concentration that we're capable of, then we will beat France.

"The difficulty comes from the target we need, but that is set by other teams."

* Rob Andrew is part of England Rugby's 'Every Voice Counts' campaign. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/OfficialEnglandRugby

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph