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Chances of England Grand Slam have doubled

By Sandra Villanueva
Senior Media Relations Manager

QBE Business Insurance actuaries have correctly predicted the results right in five of the six matches in this year’s RBS 6 Nations tournament, the one not predicted was Scotland’s surprise win over Ireland in the first week.

Having run the complex mathematical formula to include the results to date, England’s chances of winning the Grand Slam have doubled from 21% before the tournament started to 42%. However, the Predictor says that it is still likely (58%) that England will not pull it off.

The last game between France and Scotland came closest to a correct score prediction with a 22 – 15 prediction, only one out from the actual score of 22 – 16. Additionally, the Predictor was only one out in the points difference in the Wales-England match.

The actuaries, whose day job is to predict the likelihood and impact of events that place businesses at risk, inputted a wide range of variables including the number of tries, kicks and conversions scored by the teams, the caps of each captain, latest world ranking and home/away advantage.

The computer model, which has simulated the tournament 10,000 times to produce outcomes from 150,000 games, indicates that England have a 73% likelihood of winning the tournament (up from 62% last week), Ireland in second place (17% chance) and Wales in third (4% chance). They are followed by France (5%), Scotland (1%) with Italy as rank outsiders (0%).

The formula takes into account the introduction of bonus points in the new scoring system and suggests that thanks to Ireland’s gain the final game between England and Ireland will be the tournament decider if Ireland win the next two games.

MATTHEW CRANE, Director of UK & Ireland QBE Insurance, said:

“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 which illustrates the unpredictability of life. And that’s the point. You can’t predict with 100% certainty, which is why risk management is an essential ingredient in business planning.

The QBE Rugby Predictor has been near spot on with its predictions but it did not expect Scotland to beat Ireland in the opening week.  With the game between England-Ireland looking set to be the decider there is still all to play for.”


Scotland v Wales - Saturday

  • Expected score: Scotland 17-25 Wales
  • Probabilities
    • Scotland win - 29%
    • Wales win - 69%
    • Draw - 3%
  • Expected tries in game - 4
  • Wales has a 69% chance of winning with a bonus point
  • If Wales win, Scotland has a 28% chance of getting at least 1 bonus point

    Ireland v France - Saturday
  • Expected score: Ireland 23-19 France
  • Probabilities
    • Ireland win - 60%
    • France win - 37%
    • Draw - 3%
  • Expected tries in game – 4
  • Ireland has a 60% chance of winning with a bonus point
  • If Ireland win, France has a 46% chance of getting at least 1 bonus point


England v Italy - Sunday

  • Expected score England 45-13 Italy
  • Probabilities
    • England win - 97%
    • Italy win - 3%
    • Draw - 0%
  • Expected tries in game – 7
  • England has a 97% chance of winning with a bonus point
  • If Italy win, have a 3% chance of getting at least 1 bonus point

For further information and interviews please contact:  

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

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

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

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 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 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.

Your contact

Your contact

Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International