Can England win the Six Nations 2024 this weekend – can Ireland stop them?

Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw battle with Ollie Lawrence and George Furbank of England during the Guinness Six Nations 2024
(Image credit: Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England's victory over Ireland last weekend imbued Super Saturday – the triple-stacked final day of the Six Nations Championship – with a real sense of jeopardy. But can England still win Six Nations 2024? Or is it Ireland's day?

When Andy Farrell's men tore pre-tournament favourites France apart in the opening match of the tournament, it looked to all intents and purposes that they'd retain the trophy and do so as the first team to win back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations era.

However, England shattered that illusion with an outstanding performance on the penultimate weekend of the championship, when a Marcus Smith drop goal sealed a shock 23-22 victory over the Irish. Will France vs England turn out to be a Saint Patrick's Day decider?

Want to know all the Six Nations possible outcomes? Read on as we break down who can win the Six Nations 2024, plus the odds and teams.

Can England win Six Nations 2024?

Going into Super Saturday, England were the only team harbouring realistic ambitions of denying Ireland back-to-back Six Nations titles, but even then, they'd have needed a lot to go their way.

Their hopes hinged on Scotland not just beating Ireland in Dublin but doing so while denying them a bonus point. If that had transpired, England would win the Six Nations with a bonus point victory over France.

Unfortunately for Steve Borthwick's men, Ireland withstood a spirited Scotland display to hold on for the victory and retain the trophy.

What do Ireland need to do to win the Six Nations?

Ireland were the only title contenders in control of their own fate. 

A solitary point would have been enough, which means they would have been able to lose their final game to Scotland and still win the title, as long as they secured a bonus point.

They were in such a strong position that they could even have ended up winning fewer games than England and still lifted the trophy, because they secured a bonus point through the first four rounds.

In the end, Andy Farrell's men made things simple. They beat Scotland 17-13 to wrap things up before England's final match. 

Can Scotland win the Six Nations? 

While it was mathematically possible for Scotland to win the Six Nations, in reality they never stood a chance. 

Not only were they five points behind Ireland, but they had a 76-point points differential to make up too. 

Even if Scotland had beaten Ireland with a bonus point, denied Andy Farrell's men a bonus point and gobbled up that gaping points differential, they'd have only won the title if France beat England but did so without securing a bonus point of their own.

Can Wales avoid the wooden spoon? And is it a real spoon?

It's bad news for Wales who have lost to Italy, making it five defeats from five at the 2024 Six Nations. The wooden spoon is theirs. Wales haven't been saddled with the wooden spoon since 2003, which was also the last time they failed to win a single game in the championship.

On the plus side, they didn't have to go through the ignominy of a wooden spoon presentation, as the kitchen implement is purely metaphorical.

Italy, on the other hand, are in dreamland. Sure, they're still fifth – an absolute stuffing for France notwithstanding – but two wins, one draw and two defeats is a great haul for the Italians.

What are the France vs England teams? 

France XV: 15 Leo Barre, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Nicolas Depoortere, 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10 Thomas Ramos, 9 Nolann Le Garrec, 8 Gregory Alldritt (c), 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 François Cros, 5 Emmanuel Meafou, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille. Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Georges-Henri Colombe, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Alexandre Roumat, 21 Paul Boudehent, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Yoram Moefana.

England XV: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Ollie Chessum, 5 George Martin, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George (c), 1 Ellis Genge. Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Ethan Roots, 20 Alex Dombrandt, 21 Danny Care, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Manu Tuilagi.

Six Nations table 2024

Swipe to scroll horizontally
England 3/0/1012

How many times have France beaten England in rugby?

France and England have played each other 110 times, with Les Bleus trailing the head-to-head with 43 victories to 60 defeats. The other seven games ended all square.

How many times have England beaten France away?

Of their 54 encounters on French soil, England have won an extremely respectable 23 games. France have won 29, with the other two being draws.

However, England have won just one of their last six away games against France, with that sole victory coming in 2016.

How many times have France won the Six Nations?

France have won the championship 18 times, with six of those wins coming in the Six Nations era. They last won the tournament in 2022, which they achieved with a perfect record – known as the Grand Slam.

How many times have England won the Six Nations?

England are the most successful team in championship history, having taken home the title 29 times. Seven of those victories came in the Six Nations era, the most recent of which was in 2020. They last won the Grand Slam in 2016.

What is a bonus point in rugby?

The Six Nations bonus-point system is designed to reward attacking rugby. As such, an extra point is awarded to teams who score at least four tries or lose by seven or fewer points.

How much are France vs England tickets?

France vs England tickets start at €30 if you go via the Fédération Française de Rugby website. However, we expect any remaining seats to be snapped up sharpish.

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.