Six Nations permutations: Can France beat Ireland to championship title?
With one round remaining in the Six Nations, there are only two teams that can still lift the championship trophy today.
Ireland are in pole position having won their first four games, with a chance to secure a Grand Slam against England in Dublin – an opportunity they will no doubt relish after Steve Borthwick’s side inept showing against France at Twickenham.
France could wrestle the trophy out of their hands in a number of scenarios, if Ireland succumbed to an unlikely defeat to England.
Scotland currently sit in third place but could finish anywhere from second to fifth depending on the final weekend’s results. It seems most likely they will remain in third as Irish, French and Scottish wins would ensure that outcome.
England look destined to finish fourth, barring a surprise win for them or an Italian upset of Scotland.
At the bottom of the table, Wales and Italy will battle it out for the wooden spoon with the Azzurri the most likely recipients having lost to Warren Gatland’s side in Rome.
A surprise win for them over Scotland in the final round could lift them off the foot of the table, however, assuming France beat Wales in Paris.
Here are the permutations for the final weekend of the championship.
Ireland win the Six Nations if ...
They beat England, which would also secure them a Grand Slam
If Ireland draw with England
If Ireland get a losing bonus-point and France fail to secure a try bonus-point in a win over Wales
France draw with Wales
France lose to Wales
France will win the Six Nations if ...
They secure a try-bonus point win and Ireland lose without a bonus-point
Ireland and France could end up on the same points if...
Ireland lose and France win with neither team getting any bonus-points, which would leave both sides on 19 points
Ireland lose but secure a bonus-point and France win with a bonus-point, which would leave both sides on 20 points
In this scenario, Ireland and France will be ordered by points difference. The Irish go into the final round with a 20-point advantage, however.
If the two teams end on the same number of points and the same points difference, the number of tries scored would decide the Championship. If the number of tries scored is also level, Ireland and France would be placed equally and share the title.
Round five fixtures
Saturday, March 18
Scotland vs Italy, 12.30pm, at BT Murrayfield (BBC)
France vs Wales, 2.45pm, at Stade de France (ITV)
Ireland vs England, 5pm, at Aviva Stadium (ITV)