It is crunch time in the Six Nations this weekend, with a crucial Calcutta Cup clash in Edinburgh taking place and Ireland looking to end their Wales rut.
England are aiming to win a third straight championship and second Grand Slam in the space of three years, and are protecting a proud recent record against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Ireland have designs on a clean sweep of victories themselves and welcome a Wales side to Dublin who have proved troublesome in recent history.
France's build-up to their fixture against Italy has been blighted by off-field problems, but Jacques Brunel will see the visit of the Azzurri as a great opportunity to end a barren run.
With the help of Opta, we take a look at the best stats ahead of the third round of matches.
France v Italy
France are enduring one of their poorest runs in 50 years, with their eight-game winless run their worst since 1968-69 when they went 11 matches without a win.
Mathieu Bastareaud returns from suspension for the alleged use of a homophobic slur, and will add much-needed muscle in Les Bleus' midfield for what will be his first Six Nations match since 2015.
Les Bleus sont prêts à défier l'Italie à l' @orangevelodrome ! Découvrez les joueurs choisis par Jacques Brunel et son staff pour ce 3e match du tournoi des @SixNationsRugby ! #FRAITA #soutiensleXV pic.twitter.com/BvFADiojHB— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) February 21, 2018
History does not favour Italy, who have beaten France just twice in 18 Six Nations contest – lifting the Giuseppe Garibaldi trophy in 2011 and 2013.
Opposing coach Jacques Brunel is a familiar face for the Azzurri, having previously coach Italy and led them to win over his home country five years ago.
Ireland v Wales
Ireland will have to arrest a poor run of form against Wales to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive, with Joe Schmidt's men having failed to win in the last three contests between the teams – their worst sequence since an eight-game streak between 1971 and 1979.
Home comforts should provide some relief, though, with no side leaving Dublin with a win since England's 12-6 win in 2013 – Ireland since winning 10 and drawing two at the Aviva Stadium.
TEAM NEWS Wales welcome back @lionsofficial trio Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams for #IREvWAL . Croeso nol i Lewod Halfpenny, Williams a Biggar i wynebu Iwerddon dydd Sadwrn. pic.twitter.com/MDgRyrrmGM— Welsh Rugby Union
22 de septiembre 2018
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