Huge interest in opening weekend of Guinness Six Nations as pub-going England fans expect difficult start
46% England fans predicting a win for Ireland as searches for pubs showing the tournament are 101% higher than last year
Almost half of English rugby fans are expecting to see their team lose to Ireland in the first round of a hotly anticipated Guinness Six Nations matches this weekend according to MatchPint data.
Publicans will be encouraged to learn that the number of fans searching for a pub to watch the opening weekend’s games is 101% higher than last year. 11,513 fans have already used MatchPint to find a pub, compared to 5,743 at this stage last year. This number is expected to triple before Saturday evening’s match in Dublin.
As well as searching for pubs showing the action, rugby fans have been making predictions for the first round of games as part of the Guinness Pint Predictor, a new game on the MatchPint app built in partnership with the title sponsor of this year’s tournament. Insights gathered from the first 20,000 predictions made show that 46% of England fans have predicted a win for Ireland.
Publicans hoping a near 50:50 call from England fans shows how close the game might be, may be disappointed to learn that the Irish are rather more confident – 98% of fans have predicted a win for Joe Schmidt’s team.
While many fans are nervous, there are some high-profile users backing Eddie Jones’ men to return from Dublin with a victory. Former England centre Will Greenwood is backing England to beat Ireland by four points, and former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton is going for a three-point England victory.
More than 3,000 pubs are taking part in the Guinness Pint Predictor on the MatchPint app, with representation from a wide range of managed, leased, and independent sites including those from Ei Group, Greene King, Punch Taverns, and Pub Partners. Fans call a winner and winning margin for each game, competing in leagues against fellow pub customers, friends, and rugby legends to win tickets, Guinness, and bragging rights.
There are likely to several disappointed fans in Friday night’s opening game, where 80% French fans are calling a victory for their team, but 84% Welsh fans are forecasting the opposite result. Scotland’s match against Italy seems a little clearer cut, however. Not a single Scottish fan is predicting a win for the Azzuri and - encouragingly for Scots - 75% Italians agree!
Dom Collingwood, Co Founder of MatchPint, commented: “The Guinness Pint Predictor has really caught the imagination both pubs and rugby fans. Already, more than 3,000 pub leagues have been created in which customers compete and prove themselves to be the smartest fan in the pub.
“Going up against former players like Will Greenwood, Tom Shanklin, and Jim Hamilton has certainly added another level of intrigue for fans, too, and we’re delighted that Guinness are using MatchPint to bring an added layer of excitement to what is already a massive tournament for pubs.”
Data provided by MatchPint and Vianet in 2017 showed the Six Nations to be worth an average of £6,300 per pub.