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Six Nations 2015 fixtures and tips – bank on Ireland to retain crown

The most impressive aspect of this squad is the depth that has been created by Joe Schmidt and his coaching team

Ireland should prove the superior team in the Six Nations championship again

BETTING TIP: Ireland to win @ 15/8 with bet365

A narrow defeat at Twickenham didn’t stop Ireland claiming the Six Nations title last year and we’re backing the boys in green to retain their crown in 2015.

An opener in Rome should be easily dealt with before home matches against France and England, setting them up for a trip to Cardiff before the Irish play their final game at Murrayfield.

Despite several injury concerns, the 44-man squad is teeming with quality and we should note that Simon Zebo and Tommy Bowe are back in the frame after missing the 2014 renewal.

Wins against South Africa and Australia in the autumn internationals illustrate that Ireland are the northern hemisphere team to beat at the moment and bet365’s odds of 15/8 look very reasonable indeed.

Former Irish tighthead Paul Wallace is among those impressed by the set-up and expects to see them go close again.

“The most impressive aspect of this squad is the depth that has been created by Joe Schmidt and his coaching team,” said Wallace.

“Even though there are injuries to a few players there is enough talent to cope in this Six Nations and beyond.

“With the way the reserves feature in a game in the modern era you want to have like-for-like replacements where you can, and I think Schmidt will be happy with the numbers he has in crucial positions.”

England are priced at a similar price although trips to Ireland and Wales will make it difficult for Stuart Lancaster’s team to get the job done and the coach is nowhere near understanding his best team at the moment.

Wales could well beat the English in the opening match of this year’s Six Nations tournaments although they were far from convincing during the autumn tests and are passed over in favour of Ireland.

Six Nations 2015 Fixture Schedule

Week 1

6 February 2015
Wales v England

7 February 2015
Italy v Ireland
France v Scotland

Week 2

14 February 2015
England v Italy
Ireland v France

15 February 2015
Scotland v Wales

Week 3

28 February 2015
Scotland v Italy
France v Wales

1 March 2015
Ireland v England

Week 4

14 March 2015
Wales v Ireland
England v Scotland

15 March 2015
Italy v France

Week 5

21 March 2015
Italy v Wales
Scotland v Ireland
England v France

All odds were correct at time of posting.