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Six Nations Talking Points


Eddie Jones' England are the only team that can still win the Grand Slam

Eddie Jones' England are the only team that can still win the Grand Slam

Eddie Jones' England are the only team that can still win the Grand Slam

England are closing in on a first RBS 6 Nations title for five years, but Wales and France are also in contention.

Here Press Association Sport examines five talking points heading into the final two rounds of the Championship.


After three rounds, it is England and Wales who are in pole position to snatch Ireland's crown and they meet at Twickenham on March 12. France remain in the hunt, but their loss to Warren Gatland's men has seen them lose ground. If England win and Scotland dispatch Les Bleus, the title will have been guaranteed to the Red Rose with a round to spare.


Three wins in the bank, potentially champions by the end of round four and the only team still capable of winning the Grand Slam - so far it has been a strong start to the Eddie Jones era. Wales will provide the toughest Test yet, however, and once Anglo-Welsh hostilities have subsided, a clearer picture will have emerged of the true strength of Jones' England.


Twickenham holds no fear for Gatland's Wales, who have won at the home of English rugby three times under their Kiwi head coach. The most hurtful of those losses is also the most recent, delivered last autumn when the World Cup hosts were stunned 28-25 in a group defeat that paved the way for their disastrous exit - a depressing fate confirmed by Australia seven days later.


Jones and his willingness to bait the opposition has been a breath of fresh air for the Six Nations, offering intriguing sub-plots to age-old fixtures. However, the Australian did not appreciate the response to his comments on the welfare of Johnny Sexton and is refusing to address the media until the eve of the Wales game, robbing the fixture of a fascinating build up in which two coaches famed for verbal jousting would pit their wits against each other.


The 2016 edition of the Six Nations is being spoken of as possibly the worst yet and until England's 21-10 victory over Ireland, which burst into life in the second half, it had been a tournament full of drudgery that can only have increased the gap between the hemispheres. Other than England, no team appears to have progressed since the World Cup. The introduction of bonus points would be a welcome adjustment.