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QBE supercomputer predicts 6 Nations win for Ireland but Grand Slam looks unlikely

By Sandra Villanueva
Senior Media Relations Manager

Catastrophe planners at QBE Business Insurance have used a complex mathematical formula and computer model to make Ireland clear favourites to win the Guinness Six Nations tournament with England and Wales some way behind in second and third place.

The formula has been used to simulate the tournament 10,000 times producing outcomes from 150,000 games and the experts have concluded that Ireland are clear favourites with a 42% chance of winning this year’s tournament. England have a 28% chance and Wales a 24% chance of taking the glory.

The QBE Rugby Predictor, which applies some of the techniques actuaries use to predict the impact of catastrophes such as earthquakes and floods, has Scotland coming fourth with a 4% chance of taking the trophy, France fifth with a 2% chance of winning overall and Italy bring up the rear with the actuaries predicting they have zero chance of being crowned champions.

The computer does not foresee a Grand Slam winner this year, predicting a 63% probability that no team can win all of their fixtures. Ireland are the most likely team to win the Triple Crown but with only a 21% chance of taking the prize. The QBE Rugby Predictor suggests that the most probable outcome is that no team can remain unbeaten in the battle of the home nations.

The predictions are based on analysis by QBE actuaries of scores, results, past events and incidents over the last 10 years using 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.

MATTHEW CRANE, Executive Director of Market Management at QBE, said:
“We live in unpredictable times and while we can put all the science in the world into predicting the future, we can never be 100% sure. Ireland are certainly on form right now but anything can happen, so just as we advise businesses to prepare for any outcome, all the teams should go in prepared to take advantage if the unlikely happens. At the very least, it’ll make for exciting viewing.”


Tournament title
Ireland 42%
England 28%
Wales 24%
Scotland 4%
France 2%
Italy 0%

Grand Slam
None 63%
Ireland 17%
England 10%
Wales 9%
Scotland 1%
France 0%
Italy 0%

Triple Crown
None 49%
Ireland 21%
England 14%
Wales 14%
Scotland 2%


The England-Ireland match at the Aviva Stadium is set to be a close encounter but the actuaries have Ireland just nipping it with a 20-17 win. Their chances of winning are put at 41% with a 3% chance of a draw.  However, an upset on the opening weekend would see England become favourites for the tournament.

Wales are predicted to open the tournament with a clear victory on French soil, with the actuaries calculating that Wales have a whopping 69% chance of winning their opening tie, with a 22-14 win.

Scotland are predicted to have an easy start to their Six Nations and have an 80% chance of beating Italy, with a predicted score line of 32 – 18.

For further information and interviews please contact:

Mike Houghton
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7256 8912
Mob: +44 (0) 7789 167009

Angus King-Davies
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7256 8912
Mob: +44 (0) 7972 781891

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About QBE

QBE European Operations is part of QBE Insurance Group, one of the world’s leading international insurers and reinsurers and Standard & Poor’s A+ rated. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, QBE’s gross written premium for the year ended 31 December 2017, was US$14.1 billion.
As a business insurance specialist, QBE European Operations offers a range of insurance products from the standard suite of property, casualty and motor to the specialist financial lines, marine and energy. All are tailored to the individual needs of our small, medium and large client base.
We understand the crucial role that effective risk management plays in all organisations and work hard to understand our clients’ businesses so that we offer insurance solutions that meet their needs – from complex programmes to simpler e-trading solutions – and support them in minimising their risk exposures. Our expert risk management and rehabilitation practitioners focus on helping clients improve their risk management so that they may benefit from a reduction in claims frequency and costs.

Your contact

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Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International