RUGBY UNION - The 2012 Six Nations tournament continues this weekend and we have collected some key stats to preview each of the games.
Ireland v Italy, Saturday 25 February, 14.30 CET, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
> Ireland have won all of their previous 12 Six Nations meetings. Ireland and England are the two sides against which Italy have never collected a result in the Six Nations.
> Ireland lost their 2012 Six Nations opener against Wales. Their match against France was rescheduled to 4 March. They have never started this tournament with two successive defeats.
> Ronan O’Gara has played 117 Test matches for Ireland and is equal to Brian O’Driscoll for the record. By playing in this match, O’Gara can overtake his injured teammate.
England v Wales, Saturday 25 February, 17.00 CET, Twickenham, London
> Wales have won the Triple Crown twice in the Six Nations era, in 2005 and 2008, when they also went on to take the Grand Slam.
> The 6N balance at Twickenham is five wins to England and one win by Wales. The lone Welsh win came in 2008 (26-19), their last Grand Slam winning year.
> These two sides will put out their youngest starting XV in Six Nations history. England’s averages 25 years and 157 days, Wales’ averages 25 years and 93 days. The 30 starters together average 25 years and 124 days, by far the youngest in 6N history.
> Owen Farrell replaces Charlie Hodgson as the starting Fly-half for England. Only one England player making his first 6N start at Fly-half registered fewer than 14 points – nine by Charlie Hodgson on 5 Feb 2005. In 2012, Hodgson has accounted for England’s only two tries in the competition.
Scotland v France, Sunday 26 February, 16.00 CET, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
> From the 12 previous meetings between these teams in the Six Nations, 11 have been won by France, including the last five. The one win by Scotland in the Six Nations era took place at Murrayfield on 5 February 2006 (20-16).
> Scotland have only scored tries at Murrayfield in the last three years of Six Nations matches against Italy, failing to score in six other home matches in this period.
> Jean-Baptiste Poux will make only his second career Six Nations start, almost 10 years after making his first and only so far. The 3,627 days separating his successive 6N starts shatter the competition record of 2,527 by Wales’ Gareth Williams (2003-2010).