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Catastrophe team predicts outcome of RBS 6 Nations

A complex mathematical formula created by actuaries who predict the impact of catastrophes such as earthquakes and floods has been used to predict the outcome of this year’s RBS 6 Nations tournament.

QBE Business Insurance, today (1 February 2016) reveals its predictions for this year’s tournament, based on analysis by its actuarial team of a wide range of variables and 10 years of past events and incidents.

The computer model, which has simulated the tournament 10,000 times to produce outcomes from 150,000 games, indicates that Ireland has a 35% chance of winning the tournament.

The new findings reveal that Ireland are firm favourites to win their third consecutive tournament and have a 11% chance of winning the Grand Slam. England are the second favourite to win (30%), France the third favourite (17%), Wales fourth (14%), Scotland the fifth favourite (4%) and Italy the least likely to win (0%).

Ireland are also predicted to win the Triple Crown (20%) and England should win the Calcutta Cup (70%).

Actuaries, who are more used to predicting events that put businesses at risk, inputted a wide range of variables including the number of tries, kicks and conversions scored by team, the caps of each captain, form of the team and home/away advantage.

MATTHEW CRANE, Director of Middle Market and SME at QBE Insurance, said:

“Predictive analytics is either a dark art or a science, depending who you talk to. Rugby teams are not that different from businesses as they have to understand the risks and prepare for every eventuality.

“On a daily basis QBE applies science like that behind this model to different sectors such as transport, construction, and financial services. These live tools improve thousands of businesses, from micro SMEs to multinational corporations by helping to recognise perils and mitigate against potential losses.

“However, nothing is certain. As we saw in last year’s World Cup there is never a sure outcome. England’s inability to escape the Group of Death ultimately came down to a chance decision, either in the shape of Chris Robshaw’s call not to take the last minute penalty kick or Dan Biggar’s 74th minute drop goal for Wales from the halfway line. The Rugby Predictor is also a bit fun that uses just one of the many tools of analysis our experts would combine in reality.” Matthew said.

To date, the QBE Rugby Predictor has had an 83% success rate. During the World Cup, QBE correctly predicted the outcome of 38 out of the 47 Matches, closely matched many of the scores (including those below) and correctly determined that New Zealand would win the tournament.

Match S Africa v Wales QBE Predicted 23-20 Outcome 23-19 Spread 1 point out

Match Ireland v Romania QBE Predicted 40-8 Outcome 44-10 Spread 2 points out

Match France v Italy QBE Predicted 33-14 Outcome 32-10 Spread 3 points out

Indicative scores for RBS 6 Nations:

France 33       Italy 12
Scotland 13    England 21
Ireland 32        Wales 21

France 20        Ireland 22
Wales 26         Scotland 21
Italy 13            England 30

Wales 23         France 19
Italy 15            Scotland 30
England 25      Ireland 21

Ireland 44        Italy 11
England 26      Wales 20
Scotland 14     France 20

Wales 39          Italy 12
Ireland 30         Scotland 19
France 18         England 17

The formula

For further information please contact:

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

Sara Williams
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7256 8912

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Attachments: The formula

How the formula works

Notes to editors:

  • QBE has a long history of supporting international rugby. In 2011, QBE agreed a four-year deal to become title sponsor of the QBE Internationals and the Official Insurance Partner of England Rugby
  • QBE worked in partnership with the RFU in delivering a rugby coaching initiative for the community and recruited and trained more than 2,000 level 2 coaches to ensure that participation in rugby develops and is sustainable
  • 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 38 countries with a presence in all key insurance markets, and are lead underwriters within our chosen markets, setting rates and conditions
  • 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.

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Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International