The most statistically accurate and advanced rugby management game ever created has calculated the outcome of the 2005 Six Nations Championship in advance of a ball being kicked – and England rugby fans should prepare for disappointment come the tournament's conclusion.
Pro Rugby Manager 2 has revealed that unbeaten Ireland will top the table on March 19th, pipping France by two points overall. England, despite scoring the most points throughout the tournament, scrape into a lowly third place – with Scotland and wooden spoon winners Italy propping up the bottom of the table.
The full and final table is as follows:
W D L For Ag Pts
Ireland 5 0 0 119 54 10
France 4 0 1 139 90 8
England 3 0 2 164 70 6
Wales 2 0 3 85 101 4
Scotland 1 0 4 41 136 2
Italy 0 0 5 58 155 0
According to Pro Rugby Manager 2, key games will be on Sunday 23th February, when France beat England 29-27 with a late drop goal. Two weeks later, Ireland will triumph over England by an even slimmer margin: 13-12. On 12th March, the Championship decider between Ireland and France will go in the favour of the Irish, 28-24. The same day, England will inflict embarrassment on Italy, with the tournament's greatest winning margin: 64-9.
These predictions will instil fear in the minds of the bookies, who currently have Ireland as 3/1 to win, behind France (7/4) and England (6/4). However, they have given Italy the respect they deserve in advance of kick-off, listing them as 500/1 outsiders to win the Six Nations. They won't.
"We were surprised Pro Rugby Manager 2 predicted England will perform so poorly," says Terry Malham, Commerical Director, Digital Jesters, publisher of Pro Rugby Manager 2, "but the conclusion should not be ignored as the game uses the current, most accurate statistics available. Hopefully this will encourage the team to play above their potential – particularly in the France and Ireland matches. However, if England do slip up, rugby fans will be able to use the game to tinker with the team as they see fit – and ensure that the Six Nations are won virtually, if not in real life."
Pro Rugby Manager 2 will published by Digital Jesters on February 25th 2005 for PC CD-ROM, priced Ã‚Â£34.99.
Note to editors: Founded in 2003, Digital Jesters is a British-based publisher of computer and video games. Set up by the duo responsible for launching and establishing the Sudden Strike and Cossacks series of games in the UK, the firm's remit is simple: to source and publish the best games available. The company's commitment to originality resulting in it snapping up the original TrackMania game from French developer Nadeo and DJ's ethos of community development strategy resulted in the game becoming one of the sleeper hits of the year. A tie-in with record-breaking yachtswoman Ellen Macarthur for the firm's second release Virtual Skipper 3 ensured the game received widespread attention among the elusive non-gamer, and firmly placed the publisher on the map. The firm has enjoyed three top 10 PC hits, one of which is from the developers Cyanide, creators of Pro Rugby Manager and now DJ is expanding its operation to cover additional territories. It has also published its own comic book to widespread critical acclaim.