So, the final Saturday has arrived and we wait with bated breath for the outcome of the 2009 Six Nations Rugby. As ever, when I hear the National anthems of countries other than my own I think how musical and attractive they are. The Italian anthem could have – may have – come from an opera though the players' rendition is less than lyrical. Scotland's anthem is haunting, Ireland's is rousing, France's defiant, the anthem of Wales is evocative – and then we hear the English anthem, a dirge if ever there was one and a tune shared with the USA. Nonetheless, when coupled with the Union flag and a loyal crowd singing their hearts out it has the power to move.
Italy and France are the first protagonists on this glorious March afternoon and I would love to see Italy win. From their first stumble into what had hitherto been the Five Nations the Italians have grown in strength and skill and by the time the next Six Nations is staged they will be an even greater threat to all their opponents.
From the colour of this font you can guess which side I think will be the ultimate winners of the 2009 Six Nations.