Brian Moore's Full Contact Rugby
Stephen Ferris: There seems to be an arrogance from England and no one understands why
Monday, 28 January
The Six Nations are upon us and there are all manner of questions just waiting to be answered such as: Can Ireland do the Double Grand Slam? Who will start for England? And the French - always a question mark there. Alongside Brian Moore to try and answer some of those questions is the former England and Gloucester wing James Simpson-Daniel.
With Brian's assertion that this is the trickiest Six Nations to call so far, James and Brian begin by discussing how the Celtic nations could end up defining the story of the tournament - with James even arguing a case for Scotland to be Grand Slam winners! They then get onto England, debating who should start at full back, how strong the squad is, and whether we will see Joe Cokanasiga play against Ireland.
Joining them to argue the case for Ireland to complete the Double is former Ireland and Lions flanker, Stephen Ferris, who says there seems to be an arrogance coming from the English out of nowhere. Stephen also believes that Joe Schmidt has his Ireland squad mapped out for the rest of the year so doesn't expect too much experimenting.
As for the rest of the Celtic nations we speak with Lions and Wales wing Shane Williams on the quiet confidence within Warren Gatland's ranks. Shane notes they are "blessed with quality" across the back row to make up for Taulupe Faletau's absence, but not enough to predict they can win the tournament. On the Scottish side of the border Sean Lamont is brimming with optimism for his former side's ambitions with the full back saying you have to be on top of your game to win, but he thinks Scotland can finish top of the table. (It may be that he has to say that!)
Italy Head Coach Conor O'Shea joins to tell us about how he approaches the Six Nations saying he loves the challenge of coaching Italy and it's all about maintaining energy and confidence despite not always getting the desired results.
Finally, we speak with Red Roses Head Coach Simon Middleton ahead of the Women's Six Nations and to ask how they are going to turn around last year's narrow defeat to France and lift the trophy come 16 March.