QBE number crunchers predict final day showdown will determine Six Nations

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Ireland will need to beat England in the final round of the Guinness Six Nations if they are to win the tournament for the first time in three years, according to predictions by 'catastrophe planners' at QBE Business Insurance using a complex mathematical formula and computer model.

The QBE Rugby Predictor, which applies techniques actuaries use to predict the impact of catastrophes such as earthquakes and floods, simulates the tournament 10,000 times producing outcomes from 150,000 games. The experts have concluded that Ireland have a 24% chance of winning the title.

The number crunchers have predicted that England and Ireland will win each of their first four games, meaning that the tournament will come down to a crunch final fixture between the two nations. However, Ireland will need to battle against the odds with experts predicting a 20 – 23 victory for England.

In what is set to be the pick of the first-round fixtures Ireland are predicted to travel to Cardiff and beat Wales with a narrow 20 – 21 victory. Continuing in good form the Irish are then predicted to sweep aside France and Italy in their next two fixtures before sealing a 19 -24 victory against Scotland at the Murrayfield in what is sure to be a feisty affair.

The actuarial team do not foresee a Grand Slam this year with a 67% chance their will no Grand Slam for the second year running, with England the most likely to achieve it only given a 19% chance of winning. With Ireland having a 9% chance of winning the Grand Slam for only the third time since the Six Nations tournament was formed.

The predictions are based on analysis by QBE actuaries of scores, results, past events and incidents over the last 10 years using a wide range of variables including the number of tries, kicks and conversions scored by the teams, the caps of each captain, latest world ranking and home and away advantage.

Sam Harrison, Managing Director of Insurance at QBE Europe, adds: “The pandemic caused major disruption to last year’s tournament with first the postponement of games and then later the suspension of the whole tournament. The teams will be more aware than ever of the unpredictable nature of the world we live in and just as we advise businesses to prepare for any outcome, the teams should once again be prepared for the unlikely to become a reality.”