Our model predicts an 85% chance that either France or Ireland will win this year’s Six Nations. But rather than build to a climax contest in round 4 or 5, the two will meet tomorrow night in the very first game.
While the game itself should be an enthralling encounter, the result threatens to burst the balloon for the rest of the Six Nations from day one. As our analysis below shows, it’s probable that after the match we’ll have one very strong favourite to win the tournament.
This is a shame; any good competition should allow narratives to develop before reaching a crescendo. We launched the TFG Scheduler_ to help rights holders increase the chance of this happening. As Formula 1 has found, interest generated via a Netflix docuseries has a limited shelf life if the product itself fails to deliver.