Despite losing to England, Ireland are still the heavy favourites to win the Six Nations

Ireland missed the chance to win the 2024 Six Nations with a round to spare when they were beaten by England in a thriller at Twickenham.

Marcus Smith landed a drop goal with the clock in the red to give Steve Borthwick’s side a 23-22 home victory and spark wild scenes of celebration.

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

Defeat ended Ireland’s hopes of becoming the first nation to claim back-to-back Grand Slams and meant the 2024 championship would come down to the final day, but Andy Farrell’s side are still firm favourites.

What must Ireland do to defend their Six Nations crown?

The task, on paper, is quite simple for Ireland. If they beat Scotland in Dublin, something they haven’t failed to do since 2010, they will lift the trophy.

It is, therefore, completely in their hands.

But anything can and often does happen in this tournament.

While their recent record against Scotland is formidable, Gregor Townsend’s side will be arriving in the Irish capital with a point to prove.

A sobering loss to Italy all but ended the Scots’ hopes of a maiden Six Nations title, so they will be desperate to end the campaign on a high, especially with the Triple Crown still up for grabs.

It adds a layer of intrigue to the contest that has become incredibly one-sided of late.

Related: How to watch the Six Nations

So, what if Ireland don’t win?

Well, Ireland can still ensure they win the 2024 Six Nations regardless of results elsewhere if they draw with Scotland, something which hasn’t happened between the two sides since 1994.

And even if Ireland suffer a second consecutive defeat, if they lose by seven points or fewer and score four tries they will still reign supreme.

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