First XV – England Win Again – By Andrew Todd

This weekend saw the return of the RBS Six Nations and England chalking up another win on their path to potential Grand Slam glory.

Chris Robshaw led his England team with a man of the match performance to a 23-13 victory over France.

After a tight first half in which France went in one point ahead, Manu Tuilagi’s try, who was back in the starting 15, early in the second half, was enough to separate sides and quash French hopes.

Italy’s slump continued at the hands of the ever improving Wales. Tries from Alex Cuthbert and Jonathan Davies helped put the Italians to the sword with a 26-9 victory.

However, the shock of the weekend came at Murrayfield, where Scott Johnson’s and his Scotland team scraped to a narrow 12-8 victory over Ireland.

Four second half penalties from the boot of Greg Laidlaw was enough to seal the victory, however Ireland will be kicking themselves.

This result leaves Scotland sitting only two points behind leaders England and level on points with the holders, Wales. France’s continued terrible run leaves them sitting bottom of the table having failed to pick up a victory in any of their three games so far. With Ireland and Italy sitting third bottom and second bottom respectively after their second defeats of the championship.

With over half of the championship gone now, Warren Gatland will be developing a clearer picture of his potential Lions week on week. However this week no one stood out more than the inspirational Robshaw, who is now in many people’s eyes the favourite to be the skipper for the tour.

Scotland full back Stuart Hogg also finds himself with one foot on the plane to Australia after another strong performance this weekend. But competition for the full back shirt is high, with Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny continuing his strong run of form.

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