Women’s Rugby 6 Nations Preview

February 3, 2017

Women’s Rugby 6 Nations Preview


Doug Coil

The RBS Women’s 6 Nations will kick off today as Scotland faces Ireland at Broadwood Stadium at 18:35 GMT. In action tomorrow, February 4, Italy plays Wales at 15:00 at Cumbernauld Stadio Comunale Pacifico Carotti, Jesi. England plays France that same day at Twickenham Stadium at 19:35.

For a more complete Women’s 6 Nations preview, read the Scrumqueen’s preview.

Scotland v Ireland

Ireland will be a strong favorite, as Scotland has not won a test match since 2011. Scotland is improving and could have beaten Spain last year. The match may be viewed online at facebook.com/sixnationsrugby or in the UK, France or Italy on youtube.com/RBS6Nations.

For Scotland, Shade Munro is pushing the team in the right direction. The team will have their first fulltime player Jade Konkel in their squad against Ireland.

Ireland will have a powerful side that will look to quicken the pace. Jen Murphy returns at the midfield and Ali Miller and Niamh Briggs are out on the perimeter.

Ireland faced some difficult Fall tests against New Zealand, England and Canada and head coach Tom Tierney feels they will reap the rewards when Ireland hosts the Rugby World Cup this coming August.

Shade Munro (Scotland Women): “The squad have been working hard in the lead up to this year’s Women’s Six Nations. Ireland first up is going to be a challenge, but we are focused on getting off on a positive note and improving our performances with every match.

“It’s great to open our campaign at Broadwood Stadium – the artificial surface should allow for some fast-paced action – and we’re hoping for a big turnout of support as it gives the players a boost.

“In terms of the squad, it’s great to see new players pushing for places while our leaders are continuing to step up and show what it takes to be a high performance athlete. I’m looking forward to seeing the group move forward and rise to the challenge and opportunity the Six Nations poses.”

Paula Fitzpatrick (Ireland Women Captain): “We have had good results (against Scotland in recent years), but within the games themselves the first halves were quite tough.

“Scotland will come out all guns blazing and they’ll be very tough. They lost to Spain in a World Cup qualifier recently which means they’re missing out on the World Cup so they’ll be looking to take a big scalp in the Six Nations and prove their worth.

“They’re a proud group of players with a lot of talent within their team. They’ll really be looking to put a marker down. We’re very conscious that anything can happen. The more years the Six Nations goes on, the closer the teams are coming together.

“The time you take a team for granted is the time you slip on the banana skin so we would be wary of that – we’re confident, but wary of that. Playing in front of a home crowd, Scotland will come out with all guns blazing.”

Scotland Women: Chloe Rollie (Murrayfield Wanderers); Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University), Lisa Thomson (Edinburgh University), Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers) (capt), Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University); Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University); Tracy Balmer (Worcester), Rachel Malcolm (Lichfield), Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill), Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers), Deborah McCormack (Aylesford Bulls), Karen Dunbar (RHC Cougars), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill).

Replacements: Lucy Park (Murrayfield Wanderers), Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill), Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University), Sarah Bonar (Lichfield), Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead Jordanhill), Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield), Lauren Harris (Melrose), Eilidh Sinclair (Murrayfield Wanderers).

Ireland Women: Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht); Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster) (capt).

Replacements: Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Ilse van Staden (Cooke/Ulster), Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Elaine Anthony (Highfield/Munster), Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht), Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster).

Italy v Wales 

The last time the teams played Italy emerged with a 16-12 win over Wales. The Welsh side however, is 6-4 against Italy.

Italy has selected a squad that mixes veterans with new caps. Italy will have 3 news caps and another 4 players with limited international experience. Sara Barratin will make her 68th appearance for the side. The Italian Federation has not had any warm-up fixtures while Wales have had four international, all of which they have won.

Rowland Phillips is the new coach for Wales since last year’s 6 Nations and have won their last four tests, including wins against Ireland and Scotland. Although it is sometimes difficult to gain wins while traveling, Wales is in good form and will be prepared for a close contest.

Wales: 15 Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets) 14 Elen Evans (Scarlets) 13 Kerin Lake (Ospreys) 12 Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys) 11 Adi Taviner (Ospreys 10 Elinor Snowsill (Newport Gwent Dragons) 9 Keira Bevan (Ospreys) 1 Caryl Thomas (Scarlets) 2 Carys Phillips (c) (Ospreys) 3 Amy Evans (Ospreys) 4 Rebecca Rowe (Newport Gwent Dragons) 5 Mel Clay (Ospreys) 6 Sioned Harries (Scarlets) 7 Rachel Taylor (Scarlets) 8 Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys)
Replacements: 16 Lowri Harries (Scarlets) 17 Cerys Hale (Newport Gwent Dragons) 18 Gwenllian Pyrs (Scarlets) 19 Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys) 20 Alisha Butchers (Scarlets) 21 Sian Moore (Newport Gwent Dragons) 22 Gemma Rowland (Newport Gwent Dragons) 23 Jessica Kavanagh-Williams (Scarlets)

England v France 

England and France and among the top women’s teams in the world. Both teams are at full strength and prepared for an epic contest.

The recent election for President of the French Federation however, resulted in the sacking of last year’s Six Nations title-winning coaching team. A coaching change this close to the Six Nations and the World Cup is always a risk as the teams need to get to know each other. France is a top quality side, so the bonding will be seen as the 6 Nations progresses. Gaelle Mignot will captain the side for France.
Watch the move of Caroline Ladagnous to centre with Trémoulière  at fullback. Jade le Pesq, a sevens player will be the new scrumhalf.

England has a professional team and they expect to redeem themselves against France this year, their only l0ss in the 6 Nations last year.

England’s Darlington Mowden Park lock Tamara Taylor will be playing in her 99th international. Emily Scarratt and Amber Reed will be a strength in the centres and Danielle Waterman also returns to the team.

Back come Emily Scarratt and Amber Reed into the midfield and fans of Danielle Waterman will be delighted to see her back in the Championship after her star turns in the Autumn.

England head coach Simon Middleton has a team with 994 international caps between them and is a strong, experineced England squad.

France (15-1):  Trémoulière – Guiglion, Ladagnous, Poublan, Izar – Le Duff, Le Pesq – N’Diaye, Mayans, R. Ménager – Forlani, Corson – Duval, Mignot (cap), Arricastre. Replacements: Thomas, Aït Lahbib, Ferer, Annery, Cabalou, Boujard, Rivoalen, Carricaburu

England: 15 Danielle Waterman (Bristol), 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Amber Reed (Bristol), 11 Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol), 10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield).1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries), 2 Amy Cokayne (Lichfield), 3 Laura Keates (Worcester Valkyries), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield), 6 Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol), 7 Marlie Packer (Bristol), 8 Sarah Hunter (Bristol)


About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant