All you need to know ahead of Guinness Six Nations Round 3

Italy celebrate Pierre Bruno’s try 20/11/2021
Round 3 of the Guinness Six Nations brings with it trips to Edinburgh, Twickenham and Dublin as we get another step closer to finding out who will lift the Championship title.

Round 3 of the Guinness Six Nations brings with it trips to Edinburgh, Twickenham and Dublin as we get another step closer to finding out who will lift the Championship title.

Top of the table France travel to Edinburgh to play Scotland at BT Murrayfield, and the hosts will be looking to put their heartbreak against Wales behind them to stop an in-form Les Bleus side.

All the attention will then be on Twickenham, where England host Wales as the last two teams to be crowned champions attempt to keep their hopes of another title success alive.

The weekend ends with Ireland against Italy on Sunday as Andy Farrell’s side look to bounce back from their defeat to France last time out while the visitors will be eyeing a first win of the campaign.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of what promises to be a blockbuster weekend.

SATURDAY: Scotland vs France, Murrayfield, KO 2:15PM (GMT)

The first game of the weekend has the potential to have big implications for the rest of the Championship if Scotland can get one over their visitors.

Opening the round means that the two teams chasing Les Bleus, England and Ireland, can blast the race for the title wide-open should Scotland win and they get the results they need.

History offers hope to the home side as they have beaten the French in their last two meetings in the Championship, but this France team is a different beast having overcome the All Blacks in November.

The home side have made three changes to their team for the fixture against France, with Rory Darge set to make his first Scotland start and Magnus Bradbury also coming into the back row.

The final change is at tighthead prop where Zander Fagerson comes in for WP Nel.

France only make one change to their team that beat Ireland, with Jonathan Danty replacing injured Gabin Villière.

Scotland: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Sione Tuipulotu, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ali Price, 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. Stuart McInally, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Sam Skinner, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Rory Darge, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Magnus Bradbury

Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. WP Nel, 19. Jamie Hodgson, 20. Nick Haining, 21. Ben White, 22. Blair Kinghorn, 23. Mark Bennett

France: 15. Melvyn Jaminet, 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Gaël Fickou, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Yoram Moefana, 10. Romain Ntamack. 9. Antoine Dupont, 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Julien Marchand, 3. Uini Atonio, 4. Cameron Woki, 5. Paul Willemse, 6. François Cros, 7. Anthony Jelonch, 8. Grégory Alldritt.

Replacements: 16. Peato Mauvaka, 17. Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18. Demba Bamba, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Thibaud Flament, 21. Dylan Cretin, 22. Maxime Lucu, 23. Thomas Ramos.

SATURDAY: England vs Wales, Twickenham, KO 4:45PM (GMT)

The right result in this fixture would allow second-placed England to continue applying pressure to Les Bleus should they fail to beat Scotland.

Wales have failed to win at Twickenham in 2016, 2018, and 2020, with their last victory at Rugby HQ coming in the 2015 Rugby World Cup when they stunned the hosts 28-25.

England started their campaign with a loss to Scotland, but since their convincing 33-0 win over Italy, they’ve looked like a team who can challenge France and Ireland for the Championship.

However, Manu Tuilagi has faced an injury setback and will no longer be able to play against Wales after he was set to make his first start in the competition.

Eddie Jones will be disappointed after waxing lyrical about Tuilagi after the team announcement, and a new announcement will be made on Saturday.

Wales have recalled Taulupe Faletau and Josh Adams to the starting XV while Louis Rees-Zammit misses out.

Original England team announcement (updated team to be confirmed on Saturday): 15. Freddie Steward, 14. Max Malins, 13. Henry Slade (VC), 12. Manu Tuilagi (ruled out), 11. Jack Nowell, 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Ellis Genge (VC), 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (VC), 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Charlie Ewels, 5. Maro Itoje, 6. Courtney Lawes (C), 7. Tom Curry (VC), 8. Alex Dombrandt

Replacements: 16. Jamie George, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Nick Isiekwe, 20. Sam Simmonds, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. George Ford, 23. Elliot Daly

Wales: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. Owen Watkin, 12. Nick Tompkins, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Tomos Williams, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ryan Elias, 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Will Rowlands, 5. Adam Beard, 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Taine Basham, 8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16. Dewi Lake, 17. Gareth Thomas, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Seb Davies, 20. Jac Morgan, 21. Kieran Hardy, 22. Gareth Anscombe 23. Jonathan Davies

SUNDAY: Ireland vs Italy, Aviva Stadium, KO 3PM (GMT)

After their disappointing defeat to France, Ireland will be looking to put things right with a victory over Italy.

The Azzurri have shown promising signs at the beginning of the Kieran Crowley era but back-to-back defeats to France and England mean they are still searching for their first win of the 2022 Championship.

Johnny Sexton returns to action for Ireland, albeit on the bench, against Italy after recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the defeat to Les Bleus while James Lowe starts on the wing.

Italy make three changes to the starting XV that played England, with Pierre Bruno, Leonardo Marin and Giovanni Pettinelli coming into the side.

Ireland: 13 Michael Lowry; 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe; 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Dan Sheehan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Tadgh Beirne, 5 Ryan Baird; 6 Peter O’Mahony, 7 Josh Van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris.

Replacements: 15 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Jac Conan, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 James Hume.

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Leonardo Marin, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 5 Federico Ruzza, 6 Giovanni Pettinelli, 7 Michele Lamaro, 8 Tao Halafihi.

Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 David Sisi, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Braam Steyn, 22 Alessandro Fusco, 23 Marco Zanon.