Six Nations Betting: What Are The Odds Of A Grand Slam In 2023?
Having already been the last team standing in the race for a Six Nations Grand Slam ahead of last weekend’s fixtures, Ireland remain in the hunt for a full list of Championship honours.
After getting the better of Scotland with 15 points to spare (22-7) in Edinburgh last Sunday, Ireland will now need to negotiate a way past England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this Saturday to complete their Six Nations mission for 2023.
They have only won the Slam three times in their history (or four if you include the Women’s Six Nations success of 2013), but betting sites are convinced they will be doing so again this weekend.
Scotland Win The Likely Highlight Of Championship Thus Far
While bonus point victories were accrued against Wales, France and Italy, Ireland’s win over the Scotland was arguably the best to date for Andy Farrell’s men in the 2023 tournament.
No fewer than five players were forced off through injury over the course of the game, including hookers Dan Sheehan and Ronan Kelleher.
This meant that World Rugby Player of the Year Josh van der Flier and Cian Healy effectively shared hooker duties for the final 32 minutes of the contest.
Van der Flier was in charge of line-outs, while Healy occupied the middle of the front-row for scrums. But, instead of it being a hindrance, Ireland seemed to thrive amidst this chaos.
Thanks to quickfire tries from James Lowe and Jack Conan, Ireland were able to put their Celtic counterparts to the sword.
Indeed, they had opportunities to seal a bonus point in the closing stages as the Scottish challenge continued to fade.
Ireland Expected To Claim Grand Slam This Weekend
Still, Ireland are the only team who have recorded four wins from four in the 2023 edition of the Six Nations and a victory by any margin will be enough to give them a Grand Slam come approximately 7pm on Saturday.
The odds on Ireland emerging with a Slam on best rugby betting sites can be found at 1/8.
The majority of bookmakers are in agreement about Ireland’s Grand Slam credentials, however, and it’s easy to see why.
Even before they saw action in 2023, Andy Farrell’s men were the number one ranked team in the world.
Having earned a Six Nations Triple Crown in last year’s Six Nations, the Irish went on to win a summer series down in New Zealand.
An unbeaten march through the Autumn Nations Series followed and although some felt France were more worthy of the number one spot, Ireland’s victory over Les Bleus in Dublin on February 11 marked them out as the team to beat across the globe.
Ireland Need To Be Wary Of English Backlash
Yet given how infrequent their Grand Slam successes have been in the various guises this tournament has had, you can never take it as a formality that Ireland will climb these lofty heights.
England’s troubles against France last Saturday - a 53-10 defeat on their home patch of Twickenham Stadium - will make Ireland red-hot favourites to prevail on St Patrick’s weekend.
However, their arch rivals will want to show the English public that there is some reason to be optimistic ahead of the World Cup finals later on this year.
Despite being less convinced on this prospect, Bet365 are placing a value of 6/1 on there being no Slam champion for the third time in just four years.
With a six-day turnaround to navigate, it is essential that Farrell and his fellow coaches manage the build-up to the game in the best possible manner.
Ireland Have Experience To Deal With Latest Slam Bid
However, you suspect there is still enough know-how within this Irish group to get over the line in front of a packed Aviva Stadium.
19 players who have spent time in the Ireland squad for this year’s Six Nations were also involved for the Grand Slam success of 2018, while Jonathan Sexton, Cian Healy and Keith Earls were part of a wider selection for the Slam triumph in 2009.
Back five years ago, with a Six Nations already in the bag, Ireland had to venture over to Twickenham for a final round showdown against England.
The hosts were looking for revenge after Ireland had denied them a Grand Slam in similar circumstances 12 months earlier, but the visitors came away with their fifth successive victory of that year’s tournament.
While it is slightly different for the Irish on this occasion with the Six Nations Championship title still up for grabs between themselves and France, they will be able to call upon experience when the action kicks off at 5pm in Dublin on Saturday.
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