France or Ireland will be the victors of this year's championship
Six Nations title permutations: Who can win the trophy on Super Saturday?
The final round of the 2022 Six Nations will take place on Saturday and only two teams are still in with a shot of winning the title.
Defending champions Wales have lost three matches so are not able to retain the trophy. They will close out their campaign with a home match against Italy, who also cannot win as they are yet to be victorious in this year’s tournament.
Ireland ended England’s chances of taking the Six Nations title by winning at Twickenham last Saturday and Scotland already have two losses under their belt so the best they can finish is third.
So the title race comes down to France or Ireland – and here we run through the various ways it can play out.
Six Nations title permutations
For France, it’s all very simple: beat England in Paris on Saturday night and they win the Six Nations title and the Grand Slam – their first since 2010. Their lead at the top of the Six Nations table would be unassailable.
However, if they lose or draw (without scoring four tries for a bonus point) against England at the Stade de France, and Ireland beat Scotland earlier in the day, it is Andy Farrell‘s side who will lift the trophy.
Ireland lost to France earlier in the tournament but have a better points difference than les Bleus. So if the two teams finish level on match points – say France draw with England and Ireland beat Scotland without securing a try bonus points so both sides are on 20 – the Irish would top the standings due to their better points difference.
If Ireland lose or draw (without scoring four tries) against Scotland, France could lift the trophy even if they too lose to England. They would just need to finish within seven points or score four tries for a bonus point to take them to 19 points.
Yet if France took nothing from their match with England and Ireland get two losing bonus points (four tries and finishing within seven), Ireland would take the title on points difference.
Ireland’s ‘Super Saturday’ match is first up, kicking off at 4.45pm at the Aviva Stadium, so the French will know the various ramifications when they kick off in Paris.
France head coach Fabien Galthie says: “Now we can start mentioning it, we’re just one victory away from the Grand Slam.
“I’m not sure we’re asking ourselves this question (if we’re the best team in the world). It’s very flattering to be praised by other teams, but we’ll see who’s the best later.”
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