Six Nations 2024 Predictions

With the first two weeks of the 2024 Six Nations now in the books, let’s look at what to expect from the next three weekends. There is still a huge amount to be decided this year, so let’s make some predictions about how the rest of the tournament is going to go.

Ireland win another Grand Slam

It makes sense to start with the prediction for the team at the top. This might be the most certain prediction of this entire article. Over the first two weeks, Ireland have shown that their Rugby World Cup disappointment will not slow them down.

They dominated France in the first game despite facing the tough French crowd. The red card for Paul Willemse certainly helped, but Ireland were still by far the better team. They needed a solid performance to avoid any surprises against Italy.

That’s exactly what Ireland did, shutting out Italy in an emphatic victory. They dominated Italy in all aspects of the game and did not step off the gas despite resting a few key players. Ireland still look like one of the best teams in the world and it is going to be so difficult to stop them.

While they still have three big games to come, it is incredibly difficult to bet against them. Ireland are just impossible to stop and I think they will cruise to their second Grand Slam in a row.

Jack Crowley has stepped into Johnny Sexton’s shoes brilliantly and the Irish attack is free-flowing. With the dominant pack that they still possess, I don’t see a way that Ireland lose. Their biggest test will be England at Twickenham, but they have won four straight against England, all by double digits.

Ireland are well on their way to another Grand Slam and there is nothing that every other team can do to stop them right now.

Check out our Six Nations Predictions

Jack Crowley to be Six Nations' top scorer

On the back of Ireland heading to another Grand Slam title, there is only one man who will finish as the Six Nations top scorer. Jack Crowley headed into this tournament with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He was never going to be able to replace Johnny Sexton in one tournament.

The 24-year-old was going to take some time getting used to the pressure. He has been hit or miss with the boot, missing three of his five conversions against Italy. But the Irish attack is still lethal when given space. Crowley has perfected the late pass and he is just as creative as Sexton.

There is no doubt that Crowley is going to get the chance to kick a lot of points for Ireland. Their powerful pack means tries will be plenty across the final few games of the 2024 Six Nations. Scotland, England and Wales are good defences, but Ireland will still be the favourites for the tournament and for each game.

Crowley is just one point behind George Ford and Finn Russell for the top scorer in the competition. I think Crowley is going to finish the tournament as top scorer. He has shown already that Crowley can be a try-scoring threat as well, able to take advantage of any space given away.

So with more tries and likely a lot more kicks, Crowley looks set to be the top scorer of the 2024 Six Nations when the tournament comes to an end.

Scotland make it four in a row

One of the biggest remaining games of the tournament is the Calcutta Cup match between Scotland and England. The two teams have often played in the first week of the tournament but instead will face off in week three. England will head into this game in better form, having won both of their opening games.

Scotland came incredibly close to losing their first game before actually losing their second. After scraping through a win against Wales, Scotland thought they had scored the winner against France. Referee Nic Berry didn’t see enough evidence to give Sam Skinner the winning try.

Scottish fans were furious about the decision and so they will be desperate to win their fourth Calcutta Cup in a row. England will have to make the trip up North for this game and the Scottish crowd will have a huge impact on this game. 2020 was the last time that England won at Murrayfield.

There is no doubt this is going to be a close game. But England are still a lot earlier in their progression than Scotland. This will be Scotland’s game to lose and Finn Russell is certainly going to take advantage of England’s new blitz defence. I think Russell will be instrumental in a Scotland Calcutta Cup victory.

Wales threaten the top two teams

The remaining schedule is not very kind to Warren Gatland’s side. After losing their first two games, Wales still have to head to Dublin to face Ireland before hosting France in Cardiff. That is a very difficult way for Wales to return from a two-week break.

Most people are predicting that both of those games won’t be close. But I think Wales are going to scare a lot of Irish and French fans. They have come incredibly close to winning both of those games.

Against Scotland, a missed conversion from Ioan Lloyd ended up being the deciding factor in the game as Wales lost by a single point. Their second-half almost comeback against Scotland was made even more impressive by the fact they did it without young fly-half Sam Costelow.

Against England, Wales will say that if they had gotten the penalty in the final few minutes for George Ford taking Rio Dyer in the air, then they would have had the chance to win. Despite the extremely young squad that Wales have, they were still competitive in both games.

The game against Ireland will be tough. Tommy Reffell is going to need to continue his fine form and produce more turnovers. They should have Sam Costelow back by the Ireland game who orchestrates the attack brilliantly.

They still can match up excellently on the outside with any team, however their issues in the pack could be a problem. If Wales can rely on their set piece more, then they will compete with both Ireland and France. They should also beat Italy who are still finding their feet after the Rugby World Cup.

England continue to experiment with the team

After the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England have had to move on from experienced professionals like Courtney Lawes, Owen Farrell and Ben Youngs. They are also without guys like Manu Tuilagi, Marcus Smith and Tom Curry for the Six Nations so far.

Despite all of those players missing, England decided to make no changes from their first to the second game. Off the back of two wins, I don’t think that Steve Borthwick is going to make many changes for the Scotland game. There may be a few changes if players return from injury.

Considering I have predicted Scotland to beat England, I think Borthwick will use the rest of the tournament to test some players. Guys like Elliot Daly, Fraser Dingwall and George Ford have failed to make England’s attack click and they seem like the most likely candidates to be dropped.

While England seem to be lacking a bit of power through the middle, it is clear their creativity is an issue. England quite often seem to just have one-out runners and are unable to produce line breaks. Ford in particular seems to be struggling in attack, while he has been brilliant in defence.

The front row may see slightly more changes, considering two of their current starters are 33 years old. Guys like Beno Obano, Tom Pearson, Fin Smith and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso should see a lot more minutes in the final three games. Borthwick will use this tournament to find his team for the next four years.

France win out

The first two weeks have not been the start to the tournament that France were hoping for. In a crucial game against Ireland, they couldn’t compete with Ireland thanks in part to the red card to Paul Willemse.

Against Scotland, they were not able to put in the convincing performance many expected. It took a controversial TMO call for France to win that game. Their attack struggled to put things together and the forwards lacked their normal dominance. Scotland were able to make up a lot of ground into the French territory.

So the signs are not great for France right now. They will be without Antoine Dupont, Romaine Ntamack and Paul Willemse for the rest of the tournament. Anthony Jelonch will continue to be missing for France, with Thibaud Flament’s return still yet to be confirmed.

Despite all of that, I still think that France will be able to secure 2nd place once again this season. Their round three game should not be an issue, with France having the firepower to steamroll through Italy. They do face slightly more of a test heading to Cardiff to face Wales.

But France have far more experience than Wales. That front row of Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka and Uini Atonio is far better than any of the front rows they will face for the rest of the tournament. Their advantage in the set piece will help France get over the disappointment of their loss to Ireland.

France play in the final game of the Six Nations, hosting England in Lyon. While it is going to be difficult for France to repeat their incredible performance from a year ago, but they have still got to be the favourites. France still have a pack which can dominate England.

So while French fans will still be reeling from their week one defeat to Ireland, I think they have got a huge amount of success to look forward to. France still have one of the most exciting squads in the world, as well as a brilliant coaching staff with home support in two of their final three games.

Joe McCarthy wins Player of the Tournament

This has got to be one of the less likely predictions to be made, but considering the form that Joe McCarthy has been in, why couldn’t he be the next Irish player to win Six Nations Player of the Tournament?

There was a big surprise when Ireland announced their team for the first game of the tournament against France. Despite the experience of Iain Henderson, Andy Farrell went with 22-year-old Leinster lock Joe McCarthy named to the starting lineup.

McCarthy had a few caps coming off the bench, so it was a little surprising to see him in the starting lineup, particularly with James Ryan and Ryan Baird both being demoted to the bench.

Well in that game against France McCarthy was excellent. He helped Ireland establish a dominant set piece that often interrupted the French attack. McCarthy alongside his second-row partner Tadgh Beirne were able to force crucial mistakes from the French pack.

In attack, McCarthy showed he could be a powerful presence, even against one of the strongest defences in the world. But it was at the ruck where the six-foot-six McCarthy made a nuisance of himself. He often caused chaos at the breakdown and forced France to slow the ball down and take the momentum out of their attacks.

McCarthy backed that performance up by putting in the full 80 minutes in a dominant win over Italy. The set piece dominance that allowed Italy to steamroll over Italy was in part thanks to McCarthy’s massive frame and excellent lifting at lineout time.

There is no reason why the 22-year-old would be dropped from the starting lineup considering how well he has played over the first two weeks. As he is a lot younger than guys like Iain Henderson, James Ryan and Tadhg Beirne, Andy Farrell will want to give him as many minutes as possible.

With Joe McCarthy being the best player on the best team in the competition so far, there’s no reason why he can’t win Player of the Tournament.

Checkout our Six Nations Fixtures

Latest Rugby News & Articles

Stay up to date with the latest rugby news & articles.

Rugby Cups

List of all rugby cups.

Rugby Leagues

List of all rugby leagues.