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Travelling to the Aviva undefeated for Six Nations would be bad for England: Kay

By Jack Austin

A continuation of the champagne year of Grand Slams and Australian whitewashes is “the last thing England will want” going into another Six Nations decider, and Eddie Jones’ side would be better off swapping sips of bubbly for the taste of defeat before then, insists Ben Kay.

World Cup winner Kay thinks England must lose before they travel to the Aviva Stadium on March 18 to face Ireland if they are to have any chance of winning the Championship, in a year where he sees the tournament as tighter than before.

This year’s Six Nations is a shootout for players aiming for a Lions spot, with so many squad places up for grabs giving players that extra motivation, if they needed it. And this could lead to a few upsets, with Scotland the team the other nations should be most wary of, maintains Kay.

He thinks Ireland will lose their curtain raiser to the Scots, leading him to believe England must also lose so they’re not facing a Joe Schmidt side that would “delight in nothing more” than stopping back-to-back Grand Slams.

“I genuinely think that a Grand Slam will be difficult for anyone,” Kay, who achieved the feat with England in 2003, said.

“I always struggle with predictions, I actually have Scotland beating Ireland at home in the first game, just with the momentum that Glasgow have had. It could be a bit of an ambush early on in the tournament for Ireland.

“If England do manage to go undefeated through the Championship up until the last game, that will be the worst thing that could happen for them. The last thing England will want to be doing is playing a Grand Slam decider against a team that couldn’t get the Grand Slam and would delight in nothing more than stopping England.”

Ben Kay is part of the Accenture Analysis Team during the RBS Six Nations, providing fans with insight and analysis to #Seebeyond standard match data. Follow

@AccentureRugby or visit accenture-rugby.com

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