6 Nations latest odds, news and free bets

England and Wales both enjoyed winning starts to their 2012 Six Nations campaigns last weekend, with the former managing a typically low-scoring victory over Scotland at Murrayfield

Caretaker manager Stuart Lancaster will have been delighted to pass this opener with flying colours and the Red Rose have another tough assignment in Rome on Saturday night against an Italy side that are no longer a pushover.

Indeed, England are as big as 1/3 (Stan James £150 free bets) to claim victory and the bookmakers have reported that many people are looking to back the Azzurri on the match handicap market, with Italy an even money chance (bet365 bookmaker) with an eight-point start.

Jacques Brunel’s team were unable to stop France scoring four tries at the Stade de France last weekend, with Les Bleus winning the match by a 30-12 scoreline, although the Italians are a much tougher proposition on home soil and they are 10/3 (Betfred free bets) to claim the scalp of this new-look England side.

Meanwhile, the Welsh squeaked home at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday to beat Ireland by a 23-21 scoreline. Warren Gatland’s side will expect to continue their 100% record by beating Scotland in Cardiff on Sunday and the bookmakers are taking no chances about a Wales side that continue to play exciting rugby.

Sportingbet are one of the few firms to offer 1/7 about a home victory, with the Scottish having been unable to breach the England defence last weekend, although Andy Robinson remains positive about their prospects and perhaps the visitors are the bet on the handicap market.

Scotland are available at 11/10 (bet365) with a 12-point start and Max Evans feels as though his team aren’t far away from producing some fireworks. There were lots of chances to score against the English and the Scottish winger reveals it is something the team have worked on.

He said: “It’s been addressed, so let’s hope we get it right against Wales.

“The main thing has been a real clear understanding. We know the pattern we’re trying to play, guys know where they’re supposed to be.

“We’ve been setting ourselves up in similar situations as we got ourselves in against England.

“We will get in those positions against Wales. It’s knowing the right thing to do.

“Where we might not have gone the right way during the game, we’ve corrected that in case we’re in a similar position against Wales.”

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