Time for England to deliver
Stuart Lancaster has done an admirable job since becoming England interim head coach in December 2011 before securing the role on a permanent basis. The Red Rose chief has instilled a brilliant atmosphere in the England camp, whilst ushering through the next generation of stars. Much talk has focused on the 2015 World Cup as Lancaster aims to mastermind a triumph on home soil. But the time to rebuild is over - England need to start showing results. They came mightily close to the Grand Slam last year but their chances of going one better this time around are already over following a 26-24 loss to France. Leading with minutes to go, France centre Gael Fickou scored a last-gasp try to deny the English a famous win. Whilst Lancaster can be proud of his side's effort, the Red Rose need to make a real statement in the next four games to underline that they are making strides in the right direction.
Ireland making winning start under Joe
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt made a winning start to his first Six Nations championship after a stylish 28-6 victory over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. It was a kind fixture to commence their campaign with - and Scotland lived up to their billing as one of the favourites for the wooden spoon. After a slow start, Andrew Trimble made the breakthrough before man-of-the-match Jamie Heaslip finally had a try of his own after a first-half attempt was scratched off by the TMO. The Ireland number eight collected a simple lineout and the maul did its job as the home side brutally saw off any potential Scotland challenge. Wales travel to Dublin next weekend and Ireland's title credentials will get a more thorough examination.
Stodgy Wales get past Italy
Bidding to win the Six Nations title for a record third successive year, Wales got their campaign off to an unconvincing start at the Millennium Stadium. Warren Gatland's men saw off the Azzurri courtesy of a 23-15 victory. Wales held a 17-3 lead at half-time but the home side failed to kick on and secure a comfortable win as Italy showcased their plucky qualities. The Italians pressured the Welsh half-backs superbly to ensure the home side struggled to get the upper-hand in terms of territory. Meanwhile, Adam Jones and the Welsh scrum struggled and conceded a number of penalties. It will be an issue that Gatland will be desperate to eradicate ahead of next weekend's game against Ireland.