Records could well be set to fall this weekend, as Ireland stand on the precipice of securing an unprecedented Grand Slam at ‘the home of rugby’.
After twice denying England such glory in recent memory, at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in both 2011 and 2017, Ireland could complete the ultimate turnaround and claim that same triumph, as one of world rugby’s fiercest rivalries gets underway tomorrow (kick off 14:45).
Following in the footsteps of the class of 2009, who won the first Irish Grand Slam in 61 years, it is being billed as the game that could cement the places of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton in the nation’s rugby folklore.
Irish success has been built upon the last gap victory at the Stade de France on the opening weekend of this year’s Six Nations, secured by Sexton with the last kick of the game, after his side marched from their own 22 via in excess of 40 phases.
Three further wins, coupled with a faltering English side who were highly fancied before the tournament, lead us into this weekend.
With so much at stake, a spokesman for Irish betting firm Paddy Power has spoken about a potential record breaking weekend: “This weekend’s fixture certainly has the potential to break staking records for rugby, and it is anticipated that it will have the highest turnover since the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“A huge factor in whether the game will break records is whether customers are successful at the Cheltenham festival this week, if they are, it could well break the record.”
Before adding what position the Rugby Union betting market currently finds itself in, and what can be done to grow it: “There was a wide range of outright markets before the Six Nations with customers able to place bets on over 50 outright markets. For each Six Nations game, we offer over 130 markets pre-match and over 70 markets in running so there is a huge variety for customers to bet on.
“The betting interest for the Six Nations is growing year on year and this in no doubt largely down to Ireland’s success on an international level as well as domestic success among the provinces.
“In terms of what we can do to grow this, we look to put ourselves in the customers position and do what we can to give them the best customer experience and the range of markets to bet on.
“For example, with England’s current run of bad form we now have a topical market onsite – will Eddie Jones be England manager for the Rugby World cup.”