Well it's coming to that time again. The sofa support coming out and ranting about selections that they have never ever seen play. Ranting about England's selection of Dylan 'Bad Boy' Hartley as Captain. Even though they are staunch Scots, Irish and Welsh. I hate 'support' this time of year. You want your nation to perform well, you want great Rugby, a few questionable decisions to rant over later with proper supporters. Instead we get idiotic people complaining that England are arrogant, Scots had a good World Cup but not going to do better than fifth, Wales need to leave the roof closed, and Ireland aren't the same without BOD! Well let me address each case in turn.
1. The current RFU management have said and have done absolutely nothing that would lead down the arrogance route. They have the biggest budget in World Rugby and have recently been humbled in their own back yard. As with all the home nations the shirt does things to people and I'm sure Mike Brown will give us a few talking points.
2. Scots didn't have a good World Cup. They had a brilliant World Cup. I don't stand by one decision cost them. There was a plethora of mistakes made in that infamous game. They were exciting to watch and even a few of the Auld Enemy had to agree they looked real contenders. They current selection looks good and the cohesion under Vern is apparent. They will be stronger this year than of years past.
3. The Roof in Cardiff. Ahh the sweet noise of male voice choirs, the charms of the Newport ladies on a day out. The noise is immense in Cardiff. The regions may have stuttered but the Welsh Nation love their team. Except Priestland of course. I must admit it is little wonder they play like teams of old when they play at home. I would tip the Welsh to do well this year and although I don't think Grand Slam I think the championship is theirs.
4. Ireland aren't the same since BOD, ROG or Paulie. They have tried a few things that hasn't worked well. Jared Payne is an out and out 15 yet they moved him central. You can't upset the Kearney fans after all. Paulie is the big loss for Ireland. A natural leader, teacher and all round good guy. Unfortunately I don't see Ireland getting the record of most championships back to back this year. Too many changes and too many big names out. Without a doubt Best and possibly Sexton will pull the strings and they will be incredibly difficult to break down, but break they will. I hope I am proved massively wrong and they turn over Wales and Scotland but I can't, as yet, see it.
It's a long Championship and one that is envied. Let's hope for no injuries, lots to talk about and lots to applaud.