The oldest and most prestigious annual international Rugby tournament in the world is underway, the five Nations (six since Italy joined the fray in 2000) . This is always tense and tightly contested affair and this year is no different. Sunday's match between England and Ireland was one of the lowest scoring games in the tournament's history; if the play was a bit dour there was plenty of 'off the ball action' with some fisticuffs and general rancour throughout. There is no love lost between these European neighbors.
The competition is always difficult to predict and we have already seen last years winners lose their opening match and the tournament favourites, France, loose two games on the trot. Having done some exhaustive research I have been able to come up with some useful betting guidance that links international rugby to geopolitical events.
You should never back a team that comes from a country that has just completed a successful foreign war. Some examples of this are - England's terrible performances in 1901 after the Boer War and in 1983 following the success in the Falklands. Likewise, our performance after the second gulf war was poor, losing the title we won in 2003. In the same vein France has had a terrible start this year after their successful intervention in Mali. Sadly their are some anomalies - Italy never do well in the Rugby or any War and the French got stuffed in Vietnam and the Rugby in 1953.
England's Nim Hall is tackled by a French defender at Twickenham in 1953 - England won 11-0