Ireland could have clinched the championship with a bonus-point win over Scotland if France had failed to get a bonus point against England last weekend.
Instead, France gave England a record thrashing, 53-10, and closed the gap on points difference, as Ireland failed to get a bonus point against Scotland. Late missed try attempts by James Ryan (knocking on the ball) and Cian Healy (not touching the ball from a free-kick) proving costly there.
It means France are four points behind Ireland, and 20 points behind Ireland on points differential. They will have played Wales by the time Ireland kick off against England. So Ireland will, at least, know where they stand before kickoff, the championship 100 per cent assured if France fail to beat Wales, of course.
If Ireland beat England by any margin – Ireland win the Six Nations.
If Ireland draw with England – Ireland win the Six Nations.
If Ireland lose to England by seven or fewer points, scoring four tries or more (two bonus points) – Ireland win the Six Nations.
If Ireland lose to England by seven or fewer points, scoring less than four tries (one bonus point) – Ireland will win the Six Nations if France score fewer than four tries and beat Wales by less than 13 points. If the points scored is equal, then it will come down to who scored more tries. Ireland lose to England by seven or fewer points, and France win by 20 or more points, scoring four tries, then France win the Six Nations.
If Ireland lose to England by more than seven points, scoring less than four tries (no bonus point) – France can win the title if they beat Wales by more than Ireland lose to England, while making up for the 20 points differential in Ireland’s favour. For example, if France beat Wales by more than 11 points, and Ireland lose to England by 10 points.
[ Ireland v England: Kick off time, TV channel, team news and more as Ireland look to complete Six Nations Grand Slam ]
Beating England will ensure the championship, the Triple Crown and the coveted Grand Slam, for Ireland.
Andy Farrell’s men are looking to become just the fourth Irish team to win the Grand Slam, and the first since 2018.