Skip to main content

Actuaries forecast England to win 6 Nations - but only just!

By Sandra Villanueva
Senior Media Relations Manager

Rugby is often seen as an impossible game to predict: complex rules, well-matched teams, challenging weather conditions all contribute to unpredictable outcomes. Yet actuaries at QBE Business Insurance have put their scientific brains to the task of predicting the winner of each of this year’s 6 Nations matches.


They have concluded that this year’s tournament will be a tight affair, with England standing a 40% chance of winning and Ireland a close second on 38%. Wales are forecast to come third with a 12% chance of lifting the trophy, Scotland fourth on 7%, followed by France (3%) and lastly Italy, who have been given zero chance of winning.

These are not wild guesses. The QBE Rugby Predictor has been developed by actuaries who have taken a complex mathematical formula and computer model normally used in their day jobs – predicting the likelihood of earthquakes and floods – and used it to simulate the tournament 10,000 times to produce outcomes from 150,000 different games.

The predictions are based on comprehensive analysis of all potential eventualities, not just what may seem most likely on first glance.   So, although the computer model may repeatedly forecast a close result between Wales and Scotland – due to past results and current form – it still needs to factor in the possibility of an unexpected Scottish victory by 50 points. To put this in context, when assessing properties in hurricane prone areas, for example, the actuaries’ model might expect to have five years of no hurricane activity, but they still need to allow for a devastating hurricane hitting at any moment.

MATTHEW CRANE, Executive Director Market Management, QBE Business Insurance, said: "The rugby predictor shows why you can’t take anything for granted. Using some seriously scientific analysis QBE has shown why you should never assume the outcome is 100% assured. Just as we insure our business customers for all eventualities, we suggest none of the teams go into their games thinking they’ve got it in the bag”.



Overall winner
England     40%
Ireland       38%
Wales        12%
Scotland      7%
France         3%
Italy             0%

Grand Slam
None          66%
England     15%
Ireland       14%
Wales          4%
Scotland      1%
France         1%
Italy             0%

Triple Crown
None          45%
England     26%
Ireland       21%
Wales         5%
Scotland     3%


Wales 23 – 19 Scotland

France 17 – 24 Ireland

Italy 12 – 36 England

Why an early win can make all the difference

The actuaries say that the Wales-Scotland game is likely to be close and is important for the future prospects of the two countries. A win for either increases significantly their chances of winning the tournament – in Scotland’s case their chances double - while a loss for either team reduces dramatically the possibility of a tournament win.  Wales are given the edge because of home advantage.


 For further information and interviews please contact:

Alex Midgley
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7256 8912

David Felton
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7256 8912

Sandra Villanueva, Corporate Communications
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7105 5284

Visit us on the web at
Follow us on Twitter at

Notes to editors:

QBE Business Insurance is a Principal Partner of the British & Irish Lions

QBE Insurance Group is Standard & Poor’s ‘A+’ rated and is one of the world's leading international insurers and reinsurers, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. We operate in 37 countries with a presence in all key insurance markets, and are lead underwriters within our chosen markets, setting rates and condition.

In Europe, QBE offers an extensive range of business insurance products from the standard suite of property, liability and motor to the specialist financial lines, marine, energy and political risk. QBE works in partnership with insurance intermediaries to deliver tailored cover to businesses from sole traders, via its online trading platform, to SMEs, large corporates and global multinationals.

Your contact

Your contact

Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International

Actuaries forecast England to win 6 Nations - but only just!