Six Nations: Jonathan Davies previews the weekend

By Jonathan DaviesBBC Sport rugby union expert & ex-Wales back
The Cut: Six Nations first week
RBS Six Nations: Week two
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After defeats last weekend, Scotland and Wales will both look to kick-start their Six Nations campaigns when they meet at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Wales have not lost their opening two games of a Six Nations during Warren Gatland's seven-year coaching reign, while Scotland will seek revenge after last year's 51-3 defeat at the hands of Sunday's opponents.

England take on Italy at Twickenham in Saturday's opening match and will be looking to boost their points difference with a commanding win.

However, as the hard-fought 18-11 victory in the fixture two years ago indicates, on their day Italy offer stubborn resistance.

Ireland host France in Dublin in Saturday's second match aiming for their second successive win.

Former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies picks out the key talking points from all three games and predicts the outcomes.

England v Italy (Saturday at 14:00 GMT)

Ben Youngs passes to George Ford
Ben Youngs and George Ford formed a strong half-back partnership against Wales

"If England play the game they want, the tries will come"

"England should look to build on their victory against Wales and try to find a style of play. They need to try to get fly-half George Ford and scrum-half Ben Youngs controlling the tempo and the direction.

"Those two played exceptionally well against Wales; they varied where they were attacking and this game gives them the chance to develop their partnership.

"In that respect it is a great fixture for England to have after such a hard-fought win because they can work on their patterns of play and combinations.

"The Italians will try to slow down the game, be confrontational and a nuisance in the forwards. But if England play the game they want, the tries will come.

"The backs look very dangerous, especially Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson and Jonny May. If they hold the Italy defence and get a bit of continuity and not a stop-start game, it will all come."

Match prediction: England by 30

Ireland v France (Saturday at 17:00 GMT)

Will it be a spicy occasion?

"Ireland weren't as clinical as they have been in previous games in their win over Italy but they have Johnny Sexton back in the team at fly-half after a 12-week absence following concussion.

Sexton try puts Ireland ahead

"That's crucial because he's a very good player who gives the side direction. His presence will also give his team-mates a lot of confidence.

"It is a big game for Ireland because France are very strong in most departments and could surprise them.

"France beat Scotland last week but were unable to break down a very well-organised defence. However, if they can get the executions right, they will cause Ireland a lot of trouble.

"I expect it to be very close."

Match prediction: Ireland by five

Scotland v Wales (Sunday 15:00 GMT)

Liam Williams won the first of his 19 caps for Wales against the Barbarians in 2012
Liam Williams won the first of his 19 caps for Wales against the Barbarians in 2012

How can Wales bounce back?

"Wales have to target Scotland fly-half Finn Russell. They didn't do that very successfully against George Ford in the defeat by England last week.

"They also need to throw line-outs to the back, hold Scotland's back rowers in and then pass it short into the 10/12 channels. Then they need to get on to the front foot and carry the ball. With Liam Williams replacing George North on the wing, we might see a little bit more width in their attack.

What do you expect from Scotland?

"Scotland played with confidence in France and were very thorough in what they did. Defensively they were solid and aggressive, their line speed was good, and they were hard to break down. They scored a good try too.

"In the past Scotland have been competitive but haven't had the capability of scoring tries from the pressure they built. They now look capable of doing that."

Match prediction: Wales by three

Six of the Best: Wales v Scotland

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