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Eddie O'Sullivan Is Predicting A Bloody Good Six Nations For Ireland

Eddie O'Sullivan Is Predicting A Bloody Good Six Nations For Ireland

On 4th February, Ireland begin their 2017 Six Nations campaign with an trip away to Scotland. A week later, the Irish head to Rome to face Italy before returning home to host France on 25th. The 10th March brings a trip to Wales before an incredible Paddy's weekend of Irish sport sees Ireland play England at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan appeared on Off the Ball on Monday night and was giving his prediction for the Six Nations. O'Sullivan believes it is that last week of games that will prove to be the crunch period for Ireland.

He doesn't think the Scots, Italians or French will have enough to stand in the way of Joe Schmidt's men.

It's the 'odd' year. So we've got England and France at home. For us to win a Grand Slam or a Six Nations in the 'even' years, you've got to win in Paris and London, which is difficult. France are no longer the tough team, France have fell off the radar here. France have not finished above fourth for five seasons.

There's three teams at the moment. There's a two-tier tournament. Let's be honest: historically, are Scotland, Italy going to win the Championship? I don't think so. They might upset a few feathers along the way. France have now fallen off the radar, unless something cataclysmic changes. I don't see it.

It's between Ireland, England and Wales and the pivotal game for Ireland - because I think we'll beat Scotland, Italy, we'll beat France in Dublin - will be Friday night in Cardiff. If we beat Wales in Cardiff on a Friday night, I think Joe Schmidt will fancy his chances in Dublin a week later against England. And England, if at that stage they've any injuries, could be vulnerable.

So it's stacked up rightly for us. Now, that's a lot of things falling into place. But you could have a worse draw than that.

And O'Sullivan elaborated on how he views the Welsh and English set-ups:

They're a good Six Nations team, Wales. I mean, I've seen Wales go into the autumn and play howlers in the autumn, just really off the pace. The last time Warren Gatland was away, Rob Howley had an awful autumn - they were baying for his head - and they went out and won the Six Nations. They always come into form in the Six Nations and in Cardiff they're really, really difficult to beat. And that's the pivotal game in my view. But I think Wales are in the shake and if they start it well, get the bit between their teeth, they're right in there. They can beat anybody.

England's problem at the moment is they have the injury scenario that could undo them over the championship. They're missing a few big players, if they ship any injuries they'll show some vulnerability. They haven't that depth that they profess to have, I think. They're a little bit vulnerable. But they're still a good team and Eddie Jones knows what he wants. They're happy to do whatever he wants.

When pushed for his prediction, O'Sullivan plumped for the boys in green (We're starting to get a bit nervous with all these positive predictions. Even Stephen Jones thinks Ireland are going to win the competition. What's going on?):

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I think it'll be points difference, maybe Ireland, England and Wales will lose a game each...I think Ireland will nick it on points difference. But so much for speculation!

O'Sullivan did warn that if Ireland were below-par and Scotland had a good day then the Scots could easily win out in Murrayfield this weekend.

Listen to the full and excellent discussion he had on Off the Ball alongside Gavin Cummiskey of the Irish Times here.

SEE ALSO: "They Think 'Why Are We Playing These Plebs?'" - Legendary Scottish Coach Attacks England Fans

SEE ALSO: Rounding Up The British And Irish Media Predictions For The Six Nations

Conall Cahill

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