Here's what needs to happen for Scotland or France to defy the odds and win this year's Six Nations

A tournament that started with so much promise for France and Scotland currently sits somewhere between disappointment and abject failure ahead of Super Saturday.

That could all change, however, as both sides can still mathematically claim the title.

Read more: How to watch the Six Nations

We run through the permutations of what needs to happen for either Scotland or France to do the unthinkable and hoist aloft the trophy come Saturday evening.

How Scotland can win the Six Nations

It’s hard to imagine the Scots getting a better chance to clinch a first Six Nations title. Gregor Townsend’s side survived a second-half capitulation in Cardiff to beat Wales by a point in the first round of fixtures before snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against a below-par France at Murrayfield.

The campaign was steered back on track with a Calcutta Cup victory over England but was thrust into chaos with a stunning loss to Italy in Rome that saw age-old weaknesses rear their ugly head.

While the scenes inside the Stadio Olimpico were joyous for the hosts and provided a shot in the arm for the tournament, for the Scots, it once again highlighted why they haven’t won a trophy of any real meaning this century.

Victory with a bonus point against the Azzurri, coupled with Ireland’s loss to England, would have left them a point adrift of the defending champions going into their showdown in Dublin.

Instead, they need nothing short of a miracle…

For Scotland to land the title they crave above all others, for starters, they need to do what they haven’t done since 2010 and beat Ireland in Dublin.

On top of that, the Scots also need to secure a bonus point, stop Ireland getting a bonus point, and overturn the points difference between the sides, which currently stands at 76.

If they pull that off, Scotland then need to hope the game between England and France falls in their favour.

England would leapfrog Scotland with a bonus-point triumph against France, while a win without a bonus point would mean the tournament is decided on points difference.

If England lose, France could also thwart the Scots with a bonus-point victory in Lyon. It isn’t over until it’s over, but it’s a lot of ifs Townsend and his charges have to overcome.

A slightly more realistic a target for Scotland is the Triple Crown. Contested between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Scots are the only nation that can still lift this bit of silverware.

Should they pull it off, it would be the first time since 1990 they’ve achieved this feat and would give them something to show for their efforts this year.

Related: Day of upsets is exactly what the 2024 Six Nations needed

How France can win the Six Nations

France have rode their luck to even have the slimmest of chance of winning the tournament for a second time in three years. Les Bleus were well beaten against Ireland in their opening game before they benefitted from a dubious TMO decision at the death to scrape past Scotland.

France were then fortunate to avoid defeat against Italy, only the width of the post earning them a draw after Paolo Garbisi’s last-gasp penalty struck the upright.

A strong second-half showing saw them beat Wales convincingly in Cardiff but it is likely to prove too little too late for Fabien Galthie’s side.

Like Scotland, for France to win the Six Nations, a lot of things have to fall in their favour.

First up, they need Ireland to lose to Scotland without picking up a bonus point.

They then need to beat England in Lyon with a bonus point. Should those things happen, France will be level with Ireland on 16 points, while Scotland could also reach that mark with a bonus-point win in Dublin.

It would then come down to points difference. France and Scotland’s points difference is currently four, while Ireland’s is 80. That means les Bleus would need to overturn the deficit to the Irish and ensure their margin of victory over England eclipses Scotland’s.

The bookmakers have Scotland at roughly 100/1 and France at 200/1, but even that feels too short.

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