Six Nations title up for grabs

AFP Videos
Six Nations title up for grabs
SCRIPT: European rugby’s showpiece event – the Six Nations – returns this weekend. Defending champions Wales are first in action when they take on Ireland in Cardiff. Since winning the Grand Slam last season the Welsh have had a lean run of results losing all three tests in Australia in the summer before drawing blank in their autumn series of matches against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. However coach Rob Howley is hoping for a fresh start come kick off. SOUNDBITE 1 – Rob Howley, Wales coach (man, in English, sec) "We proved last year when we went to the Aviva (in Dublin), when we are on edge and we turn up mentally right, we are a good side and I have no doubt we will turn up on Saturday on edge and menatlly and pshycally ready for Ireland." Next up are England. Buoyed by their stirring win over World Champions New Zealand in November, Chris Robshaw's men play the 'old enemy' Scotland, in the latest instalment in International rugby’s oldest fixture. Coach Stuart Lancaster – who once played age group rugby for Scotland – has picked Billy Twelvetrees in the absence of the injured centre Manu Tuilagi, and has no doubt the Gloucester star can make the step up to international rugby SOUNDBITE 2 – Stuart Lancaster, England Coach (man, in English, 20 sec): "He has a great passing game and his kicking game is good but he also has the psychality and contact skills now that he has really developped. And I think he is confident, he earned his right with the Elite Performance Squad in January and I think that confidence has shone through the last two weeks and I have every confidence in him going into the game. And then on Sunday France are in Rome where they will play Italy. On paper the French are massive favourites but they will remember the last time they visited the Eternal city – two years ago – the Italians won and the Azzurri forwards remain a fearsome unit. SOUNDBITE 3 – Benjamin Keyser, France prop, (man, in French, 17 sec) "We saw them take apart the All-Blacks, which is no small acheivement, we saw them give the Australians a serious shake-up, and it wasn't that easy -- so we're expecting a huge challenge, it'll be a real battle and I think it's right to class them among the best scrums in the world." The bookmakers have England as slight favourites ahead of France and the meeting between those two teams – known as Le Crunch – on February 23 in London – could well be pivotal on deciding who eventually lifts the trophy. SHOTLIST LONDON, JANUARY 23, 2013. SOURCE: RBS 6 NATIONS NO RESALE FOR NON-EDITORIAL PURPOSES - RBS Six Nations trophy - Team captains with wales captain Sam warbuton holding trophy VALE OF GLAMORGAN, WALES, JANUARY 31, 2013 (SOURCE: AFPTV) - VAR Wales training - Wales coach Rob Howley SOUNDBITE 1 BAGSHOT, ENGLAND, JANUARY 31, 2013 (SOURCE: AFPTV) - VAR England training - England captain Chris Robshaw - Training - England coach Stuart Lancaster - England new cap Billy Twelvetrees SOUNDBITE 2 MARCOUSSIS, FRANCE, JANUARY 31, 2013 - VAR France training - 3 photos from March 2011 during Italy's victory over France (SOURCE: AFP) SOUNDBITE 3 - VAR France tarining
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