France are the favourites to win the Six Nations 2012 after an opening round victory against Italy.
New boss Philippe Saint-Andre enjoyed a perfect start as his team eased to a 30-12 victory, avenging the shock defeat sustained at the hands of the Italians during the 2011 Six Nations tournament.
France lead by a 15-6 scoreline at half-time thanks to tries from Clermont duo Aurelien Rougerie and Julien Malzieu but Kris Burton added three points soon after the break to reduced the deficit to 15-9.
A converted Vincent Clerc try by Dimitri Yachvili and a Wesley Fofana try on his debut ensured a comfortable home victory.
England won their first game at Murrayfield in eight years when they beat Scotland 13-6.
A new-look side under interim coach Stuart Lancaster stood up to wave after wave of Scottish pressure and the home side were left ruing a host of wasted try-scoring opportunities.
Owen Farrell opened the scoring with three points for England but two penalties from Dan Parks edged Scotland into a 6-3 half-time lead.
Park turned villain when a clearance was charged down by Saracen fly-half Charlie Hodgson who scored an easy try and Farrell added the conversion and a late penalty to put the game beyond the reach of the Scots.
On Sunday, Wales beat Ireland with the last kick of the match in a thrilling encounter in Dublin. Leigh Halfpenny struck a last-gasp penalty to win the match 23-21 after the lead had changed hands five times.
Wales raced into a 5-3 lead after the first of two Jonathan Davies tries but Ireland had the advantage at half-time when a Rory Best try made the score 10-5.
Wales went in front again through Davies but Tommy Bowe looked to have sealed a home victory with 13 minutes left with the score now at 21-15.
But, six minutes from the end, a George North and an agonising missed conversion from Leigh Halfpenny saw Wales right back in the game, now trailing 21-20.
Stephen Ferris was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle for Halfpenny to convert the resulting penalty and snatch the game 23-21 at the death.
Six Nations Winner:
- France @ 2.25 (bet365)
- Wales @ 2.75 (Bet Victor)
- England @ 6.0 (Sky Bet)
- Ireland @ 11.0 (Sportingbet)
- Scotland @ 101.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Italy @ 751.0 (Boylesports)
Despite France being the bookmakers favourites to win the Six Nations, it is Wales who are favourites to win the Grand Slam. Wales host France in the final round of Six Nations matches on 17 March.
Wales have three home fixtures – against Scotland, Italy and France but must still travel to England. France face Ireland and England at home but travel to Scotland and Wales. England host Wales and Ireland but face Italy and France on the road.
- Wales @ 3.75 (Boylesports)
- France @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
- England @ 15.0 (Sportingbet)
- No Winner @ 2.1 (bet365)
Wales are the favourites to take the Triple Crown following their defeat of Ireland. They take on Scotland at the Millennium Stadium but must travel to Twickenham to face England on 25 February. Having beaten Scotland away, England also have home advantage against Ireland.
- Wales @ 2.2 (Coral)
- England @ 3.5 (Sportingbet)
- No Winner @ 3.5 (Sky Bet)