So that is the end of the 2021 Women’s Six Nations!
The entire tournament has been full of action and progression as it was on free-to-air TV for the first time. The competition has not only seen skill but it has also highlighted the gap between the amateur and professional teams.
After that match we know how the table ended up.
England won their third title in a row after they defeated France 10-6, the losers in the final finishing second. While Ireland finished third after they beat Italy 25-5 with the Azzurre coming fourth.
And as we have just seen, Scotland defeated Wales 27-20 to claim fifth place, while Wales finish last after not registering a win.
Thank you for joining me on finals day, what a day it was!
Wales head coach Warren Abrahams
‘I’m really proud of them, we asked for a performance and we did that today.
‘There’s some really great stuff, we can take away from this. If you want to compete at this lesson we need to sort the set-piece out.’
On the campaign - ‘It was a tough start but I think the most important thing is we have learned some incredible lessons.
‘There’s a great lesson there from a set-piece.’
Scotland head coach Bryan Easson
‘Yeah really pleased. We had a heart to heart after last week and I think defence was good this week.
‘It’s been a long slog since August after those games that were cancelled. Fair play to Wales. I thought we were the better side all the way through.
‘It’s a victory going into World Cup qualifiers. We can take a few weeks off and start training in two weeks time.’
Player of the Match Helen Nelson
‘Yeah I think I’m just so proud of the girls. I’m so proud, we’ve spoken a lot about believing in ourselves and getting that 80 minute performance. Chuffed to bits.
‘We were hard on ourselves last week and to get that win in a big year for us [was great]
‘It was so much fun. You’re never going to get a nicer day than this and we showed what we can do in the backs.’
Full-time: Scotland 27-20 Wales
Scotland have claimed their first win of the tournament and fifth place after registering a 27-20 victory over Wales.
Wales were much improved in attack and defence but errors and penalty count is what cost them the game. Jasmine Joyce and Lisa Neumann were stand-out stars for the visitors.
While for Scotland, they will be happy with their performance but it was far from perfect. Player of the Match Helen Nelson and Megan Gaffney were clinical when their team needed them to be.
TRY! Scotland 27-20 Wales
Wales thoroughly deserve that score as they just kept going for the line. Winning penalty after penalty to go through the phases to feed Lewis.
81 min: Still Wales march on as they win another penalty!
They take it quickly, will they have the last say?
79 min: Davies has gone off injured for Wales, hopefully she is okay but she was clutching her arm.
79 min: Wales’ efforts end in heartbreak as Scotland get the ball back and kick upfield.
The visitors are now in possession and on the attack.
77 min: Wales are not done yet as they have just won a penalty at the scrum.
They are now on the charge to try and make a dent in the score line.
75 min: Helen Nelson has been named as Player of the Match
73 min: Scotland are happy to watch the clock run down as they launch another attack
The women in red are throwing everything they have at the Scots but they can’t get a foot back into this one.
Thomas off, Jenkins on for Wales
Penalty! Scotland 27-13 Wales
Nelson’s kick is good to extend their lead at Scotstoun!
Heading into the final ten now, Scotland will look to play this one out.
68 min: Wow, wow, wow Scotland!
The bounce of the ball was on their side as a chip through sees Musgrove go so many metres. They then earn a kickable pen.
66 min: What an effort from Wales! Scotland were just a few phases away from scoring and Wales slow down the ball at the breakdown and earn the penalty.
They are very much still in this game.
64 min: Wales change!
Hale on for Rose
62 min: Scotland are again on the attack. The hosts are just the more dominant team as they open up the pitch as they flow the ball through the hands.
59 min: Wales changes!
Powell-Hughes and Crabb on for Dainton and Wyn Jones
59 min: Scotland changes!
Kennedy off, Bartlett is on
57 min: Wales are trying to get back into this one after Scotland put the gap back to 11 after that Gallagher try.
The visitors defence is much improved from their other matches this tournament, particularly through Joyce and Neumann.
TRY! Scotland 24-13 Wales
The line-out was pin point for Scotland to set up a maul. Gallagher was at the back of that one and the team stormed her over the line for their fourth.
52 min: Take a bow Cattigan! She found heaps of space to get Scotland just ten metres away from the line.
Wales force a penalty and Scotland kick to corner.
50 min: Wales win a good penalty at the scrum as they push Scotland backwards.
They were on the hunt for their second try but they knock-on.
47 min: Despite the strong start to the half from Wales they have now made some handling errors. These areas are where they need to fix up as they shoot themselves in the foot when they have a good field position.
Scotland currently in possession.
43 min: Neumann did so well to score that as her foot nearly went into touch but she powered through to score Wales’ first try of the tournament!
TRY! Scotland 17-13 Wales
From kick-off Wales were concentrating on getting that try and Neumann finishes off a great attack!
Scotland are 11 points ahead in this clash but the outcome could switch if Wales have more composure and their line-out starts firing.
The second 40 has kicked off!
A look at Gaffney’s try.
Gaffney has proved herself as a key player in this opening 40. Hers was the first of three tries Scotland have scored so far.
Half-time: Scotland 17-6 Wales
While Wales have shown an improved performance from what fans have seen in the tournament so far, Scotland are dominating the game so far.
They have ran in three tries and have shown clean team work. Individual brilliance has also been shown by Nelson, Gaffney and Rollie.
Wales could get back into this one but Scotland are firmly in the driving seat.
39 min: That was a huge defensive effort from Wales as Scotland continued to hammer their line.
We come back for an earlier advantage and Scotland kick to corner.
37 min: The team cohesion in the Scottish team is really clicking this match. They know where their team-mates will be and plays they’ve practised are coming into fruition.
They are once again on the charge and Rollie got a huge break to show what she can do in open space.
TRY! Scotland 17-6 Wales
What a well worked team try!
The start came from a line-out and the whole team ran through the phases. A great break from captain Nelson put them within a metre and a few phases later Belisle went over!
Nelson doesn’t convert
31 min: Less than ten minutes to go in the first half and Wales were in a great position but their line-out continues to falter.
Scotland now on the hunt for their third.
TRY! Scotland 12-6 Wales
Gaffney’s break to put the Scots a few metres away was magical!
They kept hitting the wall of defence and Kennedy storms through!
27 min: Scotland are responding well to Wales going ahead
Gaffney had a huge break to put the Scots just metres away
Penalty! Scotland 5-6 Wales
With the strike of Wilkins’ boot, Wales go ahead in this match!
Great contest between these two so far.
24 min: Possession is switching hands as errors have started to creep into the match.
Wales’ line-out is proving an issue for them again while Scotland have given away pens at the breakdown
21 min: Cattigan is off for a HIA and so Rettie is on
Penalty! Scotland 5-3 Wales
Robyn Wilkins’ kick is on the money as she scores Wales’ first point of the 2021 tournament
20 min: A stand-out player for Wales so far is Jasmine Joyce who has made four carries.
Wales look to kick a pen here.
20 min: Really promising play coming from Wales as they tried to build their first try in this match.
They kept hitting the Scottish defence but the hosts are impressive as they hold Wales out. Ambitious play from Wales ends in a spilt ball.
16 min: Wilkins misses a kickable penalty which means the visitors have not scored in the 2021 tournament yet.
15 min: Wales are building into this one and it’s definitely the strongest they have looked all tournament.
However, Scotland still have the slight upper hand in the early stages. The set-pieces are quite even but the Scots have had more possession to show what they can do with ball in hand.
10 min: Scotland pushed Wales backwards in the first scrum but the visitors retained the ball.
The scrum will be an interesting set-piece to look at this match as neither side have had a dominant one in the tournament so far.
7 min: Scotland will be happy with how this game has started.
The build for that try was pin point off of the training pitch and their coach Easson is smiling in the stands.
First scrum of the match to come.
TRY! Scotland 5-0 Wales
Scotland keep going through the phases and they run the ball out wide for Gaffney to dot down.
The perfect start for the hosts.
Nelson doesn’t converts
4 min: The opening stages of this match has seen both teams share possession but neither team are yet to feel the reward of points.
Scotland are on the attack now.
This is set to be a close encounter with past fixtures finishing with just a few points being the difference.
The final Women’s Six Nations match of the tournament is underway!
Both sides haven’t won a match yet and they will be keen to get a victory under their belts.
The teams are out on the pitch for the anthems!
Kick off less than five minutes away.
Bryan Easson speaks ahead of kick-off
‘We were disappointed after our performance against Italy. Our changes strengthens the side.
‘We’ve done a good few sessions this week. We are in a good place, we’ve had a good week.’
On Hannah Smith - ‘She is good both sides of the ball. She gives us a real attacking threat.’
On Wales: ‘Neither side will be happy with performances. We’re aware it’s going to be a tight challenge.’
Scotland are raring to go!
Who will come away with the win?
Wales have made nine changes from their defeat to Ireland, most significantly their captain Siwan Lillicrap is out and so Georgia Evans comes in at No.8.
While Scotland have three changes as Hannah Smith, Jenny Maxwell and Christine Belisle start once again.
Kick off in 20 minutes.
Scotland: Rollie; Musgrove, Smith, Thomson, Gaffney; Nelson, Maxwell; Belisle, Skeldon, Kennedy, Wassell, McMillan, Gallagher, McLachlan, Cattigan.
Replacements: Rettie, Bartlett, Cockburn, Howat, McDonald, Law, Wills, Shankland.
Wales: Joyce; Neumann, Rowland, Jones, Lewis; Wilkins, Davies; Thomas, Lock, Rose, John, Wyn Davies, Johnes, Dainton, Evans.
Replacements: Jones, Jenkins, Hale, Crabb, Powell-Hughes, Fleming, Knight, Webb.
Scotland v Wales
The last match of the Women’s Six Nations will be the fifth/sixth place decider against Scotland and Wales.
The two teams have both not won a match yet in the tournament and so they will both want to end their campaigns on a high.
A blow for Wales is their captain Siwan Lillicrap has been ruled out of the encounter due to an ankle injury. Her voice is a key one for the women in red on the pitch so it will be interesting to see how they go without her.
So far Wales have been dominated in their matches and they have been at the centre of the media. They lost 53-0 to France and 45-0 to Ireland but discussion has highlighted that they do not have the same structure or support that other teams have. They will want to block out the noise heading into their clash with Scotland who have had a shaky campaign.
Bryan Easson’s side have shown glimpses of brilliance and cohesion in the competition but they haven’t been able to quite pull it off in matches. They lost 52-10 to England and 41-20 to Italy. In their opener against England, they looked strong in the second half but they couldn’t quite score enough to get back into the match. While against Italy their discipline and forced errors cost them the match.
The last battle of the tournament will kick off at 5pm.
While the title has now been decided there’s still one game left to play.
Scotland v Wales will kick-off in less than an hour so stick around to keep up with the action!
England head coach Simon Middleton
‘It was a tough, physical game and we knew it was going to be. Both sides showed what they can do.
On mistakes - ‘That’s what pressure does. We came under huge pressure in the set-piece and they came under pressure with our line speed. The physios will be busy today as it was a brutal affair.’
What he’s learnt - ‘Character for sure. It comes down to the contact. When you’re up against it, the pressure was coming at us from all angles today. Rugby is a tough game and you have to be tough.
‘I thought France were fantastic and I think they’re are a good a side as I’ve seen in a long time.
‘They were outstanding at set-piece. We are a work in progress for sure.’
World Cup - ‘I think we have to find ways to beat New Zealand. You have to find opportunities to play, I’ll leave that to the people above me.’
Have a detailed look at how England defeated a strong French side in our report!
The ribbons are flying, champagne corks are popping and the smiles just keep coming.
What a moment for England.
Emily Scarratt and Sarah Hunter are presenting their players with their medals.
Simon Middleton looks on and claps his players who have won the trophy for him again.
The trophy presentation is about to happen at The Stoop. You have to feel for the French players as they have had a great campaign.
England have claimed their third Women’s Six Nations in a row and their fourth in the past five years.
The dominance of England in Europe is huge but France are closing in on them.
England captain Emily Scarratt
‘Ultimately the aim was to win the title and sometimes it doesn’t need to be a big score line
‘I could’ve made it easier if I got those penalties in the first half.
‘We really dug in, we kept fighting that physical battle and so I’m just really proud of the girls efforts’
Player of the Match Zoe Aldcroft
‘It means so much we have worked so hard since January. We worked hard for the full 80 minutes and we got the win.
‘France were pushing us back in the tackles but we knew that pressure was coming.
‘I think maybe in the first half we could have been more physical but in the end we did it when it mattered.
‘It’s always a battle with France, credit to them.’
The bench really proved the difference for England. A key moment came about as France were just a few metres away from scoring and sub Sarah Hunter ripped the ball to kill the play.
While their performance wasn’t perfect, England just show again the fight and will they have to claim the trophy.
France will have a chance to hit back next Friday as the two teams will play in a friendly.
Full-time: England 10-6 France
England keep the ball and kick it off to win the Women’s Six Nations!
What a huge match between two massive sides. The final may not have had many scores, just one try from Poppy Cleall, but it was full of action.
France threw absolutely everything they had at England but the Red Roses just did enough to defend their title.
WOW! What a display of rugby, what a match! Congratulations to England.
79 min: England have collected the restart!
Penalty! England 10-6 France
Scarratt has got the kick and France now will have to score in 20 seconds to win this match!
79 min: Zoe Aldcroft has been named Player of the Match
78 min: The Red Roses continue to hammer the French defence but the visitors are so strong.
Riley can’t collect and so England point to the sticks
77 min: England are playing an advantage again.
The women in white are still on the charge for the line. Composure here is key
77 min: Again the England line-out functions well and they form a maul again.
Can they seal the win here England?
76 min: France give away another pen. No.17 is in at the side of the maul and England kick to the corner again
75 min: The England line-out is good and they form a maul.
It’s going backwards and they are playing a penalty advantage.
74 min: England win another penalty at a crucial moment.
They kick to corner.
74 min: England charge down a French kick and they are now in possession.
73 min: France collect the restart and they are building from their own half.
Penalty! England 7-6 France
Wow! What a kick from Drouin.
She hits it, the ball hits the post and goes in.
72 min: France point to the sticks
71 min: What a huge moment for Hunter as she rips the ball as France were just a few metres out.
France have now won back the ball.
70 min: This is a real test for England’s defence because if France score here they will have a possible three point lead
69 min: The French doctor has said Joyeux has a calf injury
We’re back underway
69 min: Davidson is checking why Bernadou is back on the pitch as she was subbed off in the first half
If it’s tactical the change isn’t allowed
69 min: P Cleall is using her shirt as a sling as she walks off the pitch. She has been huge for England which could be costly for them in this final ten.
Harriett Millar-Mills is on.
69 min: Break in play as P Cleall is down injured
69 min: The England scrum isn’t good again and my oh my France!!
They have such a good set-piece and they have come up trumps as France kick to corner
68 min: What a great spell of defence!
That is a credit to England as France continued to look as they would score. France knock-on and England win back the ball.
McKenna off, Kildunne on
68 min: France are knocking on the door again and again.
They are making a few metres but the England forwards are working hard
67 min: The line-out is good and they form a maul.
England do well to defend it but France are still in possession
66 min: France win a penalty as England don’t release the player in the tackle.
France kick to the corner
65 min: France are now on the attack and every time they have possession they look as though they will score.
How long can England’s defence hold out?
64 min: Rowland kicked up pitch and the kicking game comes into play.
France win out as McKenna kicks out on the full.
63 min: France’s scrum falters and B Cleall wins a penalty!
What a huge moment for England who have struggled at the scrum.
62 min: A break in play as there’s a water break.
One of the teams will score soon but the nature of this one means there’s no clue which it will be.
62 min: Wow! What a turnover from France!
Huge defence from the visitors who then kick upfield and McKenna knocks on.
61 min: England have won their scrum and they set off in attack.
They need to get more points on the board if they want to silence this threatening France side.
61 min: France change!
Banet off and Tremouliere is on
60 min: The French line-out is loose and England now have the ball!
The players must be exhausted out there at The Stoop in the sun. England have won a penalty as France knock-on
60 min: Rowland kicks and she almost collects her own kick.
France out in a high ball and Riley cannot collect it. France line-out now.
Possession is changing hands so quickly at the moment.
59 min: England’s scrum works well and they get a penalty.
England use it quickly and they are looking to build something from their own half.
58 min: England change.
B Cleall is on for Shaunagh Brown
58 min: France get a free kick at the scrum but Banet loses it forward.
England now in possession.
57 min: Again the scrum is reset, Davidson is warning the new players as there has been hardly any problems at the scrum so far
56 min: England put in a huge hit at the scrum for a reset.
55 min: England’s defence has dine a great job as France lose it in the tackle.
Cokayne has now made a great break but she loses the ball
54 min: French line-out is good once again and it’s England’s turn to defend
53 min: Changes for England!
Sarah Hunter and Amy Cokayne are on and Abbie Ward and Lark Davies are off
53 min: The French line-out is perfect and they look to attack to score their first try.
France win a penalty. Break in play as Banet is down
52 min: Aldcroft and Packer have made great metres but France have a penalty.
So frustrating for England but amazing defence from France
51 min: The French scrum falters and Riley takes it quickly.
They are at the 22 now, can England score here?
50 min: Again the line-out isn’t straight, another error from them.
French scrum to come. England has not looked impressive so far.
Sochat is off, Touye on
49 min: France disrupt England’s line-out but Ulutule’s clearing kick is out on the full.
49 min: England have a penalty as Hermet tackles P Cleall without the ball.
48 min: French scrum works well again but the pass off of the scrum goes loose.
Frantic scenes as France scramble and manage to retain possession.
46 min: Rowland’s restart has gone straight out!
It feels England are unsettled in this second half and a French scrum won’t ease those feelings!
Sansus is off and Bourdon is on.
Penalty! England 7-3 France
Drouin’s kick is good and puts France’s first points on the board.
45 min: France win a penalty and they point to the sticks again!
44 min: Drouin’s kick hits the posts but France collect the rebound. They are on the attack here, such an exciting game.
43 min: France win the scrum and steal the ball from England!
What a huge play from the French. Drouin points to the sticks
42 min: England have got the ball after France knocked on.
The Red Roses were playing an advantage. As Rowland kicked it was charged down but we come back to the advantage.
41 min: The France scrum continues to be strong and they have launched an attack here.
Also Fall is back after passing her HIA
40 min: P Cleall has made an error, she knocks on.
England edged ahead at the end of that first half and they will be looking to build on that momentum heading into this second half.
France were out on the pitch much earlier than England, showing their intent to get going and kick ahead to win this one.
The title is up for grabs and it could be anyone’s in 40 minutes time. Huge half to come.
Poppy Cleall is showing her skill once again in this one and it will be interesting if she is taken off at any point so Sarah Hunter can come in.
She has a try under her belt already and she is cementing her name on the No.8 shirt.
While England are ahead, France have been impressive. Their scrums are powerful and Sansus is everywhere on the pitch for them.
It’s a huge next 40 for both teams.
Half-time: England 7-0 France
What a first half to the final this has been!
England have seen their hard work pay off as P Cleall opened the scoring in the final minute of the half. While the Red Roses had a lot of ball, France have looked clinical and dangerous whenever they have possession.
Scarratt’s two missed kicks is a talking point but Cleall again is just magnificent.
TRY! England 7-0 France
Just unbelieveable from P Cleall!!
Two efforts in three phases from the No.8 after she created the chance with a great line from the scrum.
39 min: England’s scrum is good and P Cleall goes fast!
They are one metre out now
38 min: France have made changes as Rose Bernadou and Madoussou Fall are off.
Fall is off for a HIA
37 min: The Red Roses were inching closer to the line but they lose the ball in a tackle.
So frustrating for England, they have tried so hard but are yet to see the reward. England do have the scrum here though.
36 min: Again Rowland kicks to corner.
The line-out works well and England are just a few metres away!!
35 min: Great take for England but the maul is stalled by France.
The Red Roses win a penalty as France are offside!
34 min: England kick through by Harrison but France call the mark.
33 min: Riley handles a sloppy pass well to keep the ball with England.
The Red Roses are going backwards though as the French defence is strong.
33 min: The line-out works well again and England launch again.
Surely they will get the opener before half-time?
32 min: P Cleall is back on her feet and Rowland has kicked to touch.
Scarratt now back on and Tuima is off.
32 min: England’s line-out works well and they then get a penalty at the ruck.
Break in play as P Cleall is down with an injury. Scarratt has also passed her HIA and will come back on the pitch.
31 min: French attack spills out to touch. England line-out to come.
Both teams are lacking composure at the moment, unbelievable that no one has scored yet
30 min: Drouin’s kick is missed!
England will be relieved after they have thrown everything at France so far
29 min: Boulard looks to have scored but the final pass is viewed forward.
They come back to the pen and they point to the sticks.
28 min: Confusion for the French as Sansus is involved in the ruck and eventually a player comes in to play scrum-half.
France are playing a pen advantage too
28 min: Boujard has made some great metres and the French are now just a few metres away from the try line
27 mins: England launch an attack but end up giving the ball to France! A huge error that may cost them as France begin to charge for the 22.
26 min: The French scrum works well again and they win a penalty.
Boujard kicks upfield.
25 min: The line-out is good but the ref called Davies to break away but she didn’t and so they cough up possession.
It is so frustrating for the hosts at the moment as they can’t convert their opportunities.
24 min: Take a bow Rowland! She has found touch just six metres from the try line.
24 min: England win a penalty as France are offside.
Rowland kicks to touch.
23 min: The French scrum is huge and powerful!!
Sansus goes quickly but she can’t collect her own kick. You can’t catch a breath in this one
22 min: Short break in play for a water break there, French scrum to come
22 min: France win a scrum.
England captain Emily Scarratt has gone off with a presumed HIA. Tuima is on.
21 min: Even though it is still 0-0 this has been all England at the moment. France are lucky the Red Roses haven’t yet scored.
21 min: So uncharacteristic from Scarratt as she misses an easy kick.
The nerves and a slight injury could be hampering her
19 min: England win a penalty as France come into the ruck at the side.
Scarratt points to the sticks.
19 min: Riley is playing really well here, directing her players to make crucial metres towards the line
18 min: England’s scrum is solid and they set off on another attack!
Can they get the opening score here?
18 min: A huge hit comes in on P Cleall as they win possession.
Phases weren’t clicking and so they kick up the pitch and Drouin knocks on.
17 min: This is frantic from the French here as they win possession in their own half.
Sansus adds some calmness as she kicks up-field
16 min: Scarratt makes an error and misses the kick
15 min: England win another penalty as France go over the top at the scrum.
Scarratt points to the sticks.
14 min: England win the French line-out and they are once again on the attack!
This match is non-stop at the moment
13 min: The England line-out fails once more and France win the penalty.
Both sides are showing their nerves at the moment. They need to find composure here if England want to get the first score.
12 min: England win a penalty at the ruck, great work from Cornborough there.
Rowland kicks to corner.
11 min: England win the scrum but only just and P Cleall does well to retain the ball
Rowland kicks for territory but France are now in possession.
11 min: England scrum as France knock-on.
This match has been full of action so far!
10 min: England win the line-out and they have cleared their lines.
She has won back a lot of territory.
9 min: The French line-out is good and they are on the attack but Fall is turfed into touch by Davies.
8 min: France have won a penalty conceded by Cornborough.
Another line-out to come.
7 min: Davies has ripped the ball from the French and she’s won the ball back!
Wow oh wow! Great defence from England there to stop that dangerous France attack
7 min: Great tackle form Riley on Sansus that has surely stopped her from scoring.
The visitors are still in possession here.
6 min: France are running through the phases now in England’s 22.
The Red Roses defence is good so far.
5 min: France have turned the ball over and Sansus has kicked for a mountain of territory.
England went through eight phases there and they didn’t bring the kicking game into the match.
4 min: Sochat’s throw goes loose and England collect.
The Red Roses look dangerous with the ball but the French defence is holding for now.
3 min: Great shove from the French sees them win a penalty at the scrum!
They had England marching backwards there.
2 min: Davies doesn’t throw straight and so France will have the first scrum of the match.
2 min: England kick to corner through Rowland.
This will be their first line-out of the match
1 min: Just a break in play as Hollie Davidson’s mic wasn’t working.
1 min: Banet holds the ball on the floor and England get the first penalty!
What a start to the match, this is going to be such a good clash.
1 min: Great start for England is turned over by France as they now look to build attack from their own 22
1 min: England have won their own kick-off and they are launching their first attack of the game.
The Women’s Six Nations final has kicked off at The Stoop!
Will England be able to defend their title or can France end the Red Roses’ winning streak over them?
England: McKenna; Breach, Scarratt, Harrison, Dow; Rowland, Riley; Cornborough, Davies, Brown, Ward, O’Donnell, Aldcroft, Packer, P Cleall.
Replacements: Cokayne, Harper, B Cleall, Millar-Mills, Hunter, MacDonald, Tuima, Kildunne.
France: Boulard; Banet, Neisen, Ulutule, Boujard; Drouin, Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Bernadou, Fall, N’Diaye, Mayans, Hermet, Menager.
Replacements: Touye, Traore, Joyeux, Corson, Diallo, Bourdon, Peyronnet, Tremouliere.
England v France
The final of the Women’s Six Nations will see England attempt to defend their title against France this afternoon.
The Red Roses are currently on a seven-game winning streak over France but head coach Simon Middleton has made it clear that past performances do not matter if England don’t perform today.
England have had a good campaign so far but their performances haven’t been up to the usual standard. Their match against Scotland saw them concede 14 penalties but their fiery attack, particularly through Poppy Cleall, saw them claim a 52-10 win.
While against Italy they clocked eight penalties and looked uncharacteristically flummoxed by they strength of the Italians in the first half. However, they gathered themselves at half-time to storm to a 67-3 win.
France meanwhile have been impressive throughout. Their first outing saw them demolish Wales 53-0 and, while some of their set-pieces against Ireland weren’t perfect, they claimed a record 56-15 victory.
Wing Caroline Boujard has been so key for France. Boujard is the tournament’s current top try scorer with four to her name and every time she has the ball in hand she is lethal.
Every encounter between these two sides is thrilling and this final will no doubt be the same. The match kicks off at 2pm BST.
Full time: Ireland 25-5 Italy
A composed but not perfect performance from Ireland has seen them claim third place in this year’s Women’s Six Nations.
Wall, Moloney and Murphy Crowe tries, one Flood conversion and a Flood penalty have seen them defeat Italy 20-5.
Italy just weren’t on form today, having over 25 handling errors and it was their worst performance of the tournament. They finish in fourth.
TRY! Ireland 25-5 Italy
Ireland win the ball back and feed Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe to score!
Flood doesn’t convert
82 min: Italy win a pen and opt for the scrum
81 min: One last opportunity for Ireland as they kick to corner
79 min: Considine is off with a HIA.
79 min: Considine is on the floor holding her head after taking the ball into the ruck.
Hopefully she gets back to her feet soon!
76 min: Player of the Match has been named as Stacey Flood
75 min: Ireland have shown great composure since conceding the try as look to play out this game.
The Irish have had to defend a few phases in the last five minutes but they kept a level head to force Italy to make errors.
TRY! Ireland 20-5 Italy
Italy get their consolation score which is well deserved after all their efforts in the last ten minutes.
Bettoni is the scorer but Sillari misses the kick.
66 min: Heartbreaking for Italy as they knock the ball on after such a long time in the 22. To come away with no points after all that effort must be hard for the visitors.
64 min: On-field decision remains and Italy are held up!
Italy scrum five metres out, Lyons did so well there to keep that try from being scored.
64 min: Italy look to have scored but referee Cox believes they have been held up.
The TMO is checking it.
It’s an all new front row for Ireland as Neve Jones, Laura Feely and Leah Lyons come on for Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Linda Djougang
Italy also take Skofca off for Maris.
63 min: Ireland substitutes!
Grace Moore has come on for her first cap and Emily Lane is also on.
Dane and McDermott off.
62 min: Italy have their first visit to the Irish 22 but Rigoni knocks on. So frustrating for the visitors as they had just won a great penalty at the scrum.
They do win the penalty at the scrum and Italy kick to the corner.
60 min: The match is very stop and start at the moment as both teams are conceding high amounts of penalties. So far the match has seen 24 and we still have 20 minutes left to play.
Ireland have made a substitute. Parsons is off and Tyrrell on.
55 min: Ireland have definitely found their comfort zone as they continue to dominate in this match.
Italy are yet to get into Ireland’s 22, they have not visited it once in this game and the performance is far from how they have played throughout the tournament.
TRY! Ireland 20-0 Italy
Naoupu nearly got to the line herself but she’s stopped just short. Italy didn’t release her on the floor and Moloney took it quickly.
She stormed over the line for Ireland’s third and Flood didn’t convert.
Italy have a lot to do to get back into this one.
50 min: It is just judged a penalty as the numbers were matched up out wide.
Ireland opt to kick to the corner.
50 min: Referee Sara Cox is checking if Italy have deliberately knocked on the ball. Could there be another card here?
50 min: Italy substitute, Barratin has come off and Sofia Stefan is on.
47 min: The second half has been more of the same for Italy as they have handling errors and continue to concede penalties.
Ireland look more composed after the break so far and they continue to hold control of this third place play-off.
TRY! Ireland 15-0 Italy
Wow, wow, wow!!
What a great try for Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe! A line-out works well and Murphy Crowe is given the ball off the back. She beats two defenders to crash over the line for her first 15s international try.
The second half in this third place play-off has kicked off!
Can Italy get back into this one?
There hasn’t been any substitutes at half-time.
How good has Stacey Flood been so far?!
The fly-half has put her team in great positions by tapping and going and has slotted a penalty. A great first start for her country so far.
A look at Wall’s try
The try was a great start from Ireland who have since had the momentum despite going down to 14 players as Naoupu was yellow carded.
Half-time: Ireland 8-0 Italy
A frantic and sloppy first half by both sides see the hosts 8-0 up at the break. The difference being a Dorothy Wall try and a Stacey Flood penalty.
Towards the end of that half Italy’s defence was huge after Ireland hit them with multiple phases of attack in the 22. A neck roll in a ruck from Ireland gifted possession back to Italy.
Discipline has been an area of concern for both teams but Ireland have had more control over the match. If Italy can gather themselves at half-time we could be in for a close finish in the second 40.
35 min: Ireland were in a great position after Flood took another penalty quickly. However, they are once again masters of their own demise as Wall holds onto the ball in the ruck.
A wasted opportunity there.
31 min: Under ten minutes left in this first half and Italy are yet to get any points on the board.
They have hardly had any possession in their half with the majority of the game seeing Irish attack. Italy look frantic when they have ball in hand and if they can stop forcing errors, get more cohesion, they could score a few tries in this match.
Naoupu is now back on the pitch after being sin binned.
Penalty! Ireland 8-0 Italy
Italy give away a penalty for not releasing and Flood points to the sticks.
She increases Ireland’s lead to eight.
25 min: The discipline for both teams is poor at the moment with knock-ons and handling errors for Ireland and Italy.
A key example being Barratin having a great break but Rigoni cannot collect the offload.
Griffin has also failed her HIA and so O’Connor will remain on the pitch for the remainder.
Yellow card for Naoupu
The card is yellow as there is the mitigating factor of Arrighetti falling to the floor.
Ireland are now down to 14, can Italy capitalise here?
20 min: Could there be a red card here for Naoupu? She has gone in with a high tackle with contact on Arrighetti’s head.
18 min: While Ireland are still in control of this match at the moment, Italy are starting to build.
Arrighetti made a great break as she spotted a huge hole in the Ireland defence. The hosts are also beginning to be their own worst enemy through handling errors.
13 min: Ireland captain Ciara Griffin has gone off for a HIA after a head-on-head collision off the back of a scrum.
Hannah O’Connor has come on as a replacement.
TRY! Ireland 5-0 Italy
10 min: What a great start for Ireland!
Italy gave away another penalty and Flood took it quickly. She fed Wall the ball who stormed over to score.
Flood doesn’t convert.
8 min: Ireland’s line-out worked well but the pass to Ciara Griffin was forward and so the first scrum of the match was Italy’s.
The first was reset after both sides failed to bind but the second was successful for Italy. However, they gave away yet another penalty and so Ireland have another kick to corner.
5 min: In the opening stages of this match Ireland have looked the stronger side. The hosts have already stolen a line-out and turned the ball over in Italy’s 22.
Ireland have conceded a penalty and Italy have clocked three. The hosts are now in their own 22 and looking to score the opening try.
The third-place play-off is underway.
Whoever wins the clash today will finish in third, while the loser will claim fourth place.
Teams are out on the pitch!
There will be a silence for rugby against racism and then the anthems will be played.
Just under ten minutes until kick-off!
There is only 15 minutes to go until the third place play-off begins!
The set-piece could be where the game is won and lost this afternoon. Both sides are quite evenly matched but if one team starts to give away penalties at scrum time the momentum swing could shift.
It’s a huge clash and it will be another building block for Ireland and Italy ahead of the World Cup next year.
Andrea Di Giandomenico has named an unchanged side from Italy’s win over Scotland. Stand-out stars from the match, captain Manuela Furlan and Beatrice Rigoni, feature once again.
While Ireland have made three changes with Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood and Brittany Hogan all in line to win their first starts.
Keep an eye out for Grace Moore on the Ireland bench as she could win her first cap for her country this afternoon.
Ireland: Considine; Murphy Crowe, Higgins, Naoupu, Parsons; Flood, Dane; Peat, Moloney, Djougang, McDermott, Fryday, Wall, Hogan, Griffin.
Replacements: Jones, Feely, Lyons, Moore, O’Connor, Lane, Tyrrell, Breen.
Italy: Ostuni Minuzzi; Furlan, Sillari, Rigoni, Magatti; Madia, Barratin; Skofca, Bettoni, Gai, Fedrighi, Duca, Arrighetti, Sgorbini, Giordano.
Replacements: Cammarano, Maris, Merlo, Tounesi, Locatelli, Veronese, Stefan, Muzzo.
Ireland v Italy
The Women’s Six Nations finals day is here and it kicks off with the third place play off between Ireland and Italy.
It was originally going to be played in Parma but due to Covid restrictions the match has been moved to Dublin. While the location has changed, the intent for both teams will be the same to achieve the all-important third place finish.
As England are professional and France are semi-professional the top two spots usually go to them. And so the third place spot is something that is hunted by the remaining four teams.
Ireland started their campaign strong with a 45-0 victory over Wales but they were smothered in attack and defence by France last week. They lost 56-15 but some players shone for Ireland, including Stacey Flood who will win her first start for her country this afternoon.
While Italy played well in their opener against England but they couldn’t sustain the performance for 80 minutes. Despite losing 67-3, they focused on their challenge ahead and were clinical against Scotland in a 41-20 win. Captain Manuela Furlan and Player of the Match Beatrice Rigoni were stand out stars and they will feature in the clash today. The game will kick off at 12pm BST.