France v England: Women’s Six Nations title decider – live | Women’s Six Nations

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45 min: Clara Joyeux comes on as prop and it’s the captain who makes way. Manaé Feleu runs over to the bench. An interesting move.


Yellow card for Assia Khalfaoui. England’s Morwenna Talling caught one there and the decision is a yellow card and Khalfaoui is in the bunker. France are down to 14.


44 min: France’s turn to ping the ball around and search for openings in the England defence. A knock-on, however, and we’ll restart with an England scrum … Before that we’re having a look at a head contact. The TMO is involved.


43 min: A France turnover, they win a penalty and Bourdon Sansus looks to tap and take it quickly – but there’s a player down injured so the referee pulls play back. Nothing serious. France still have a penalty.


42 min: An England lineout near halfway, Cokayne’s throws have been inch perfect. England have the ball and are passing it around neatly.


England kick off the second half! It’s the final 40 mins of the 2024 Women’s Six Nations. The grand slam is on the line. Can France spark a fightback?


A word for the kickers: Holly Aitchison is five from five, Lina Queyroi is two from two. Some of those conversions have come from some difficult positions, as well. Chapeau to both.


France will feel some borderline calls went against them. Can that sense of injustice rouse them for a comeback? Worth pointing out that they battled back and scored 33 points in the second half of this fixture last year to almost complete an epic turnaround. This, however, is probably a better England side.

ShareHalf-time: France 14-35 England

And exhale – what a half that was. England made the most of their opportunities and exploited any and all defensive errors, grabbing five tries. France have been on top in the scrum but have been nowhere near as clinical as their opponents. End to end stuff.

ShareTRY! France 14-35 England (Cokayne)

Amy Cokayne’s lineout has been immaculate – and she gets a try now on top of that! Cokayne forces the ball over near the line. Aitchison is once again perfect in converting from out wide. She’s been immaculate too.

Breach, Hunt and Botterman celebrate after Cokayne (obscured) scores. Photograph: Lionel Hahn/RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty ImagesShare

Updated at 18.44 CEST

38 min: France scrum inside their own 22, Bourdon Sansus snatches the ball and kicks. She’s been France’s best player so far but England will still sniff a fifth try.


36 min: England chuck the ball about with speed, looking for an opening. But Charlotte Escudero is solid in defence. From the obvious dept: France will not want to concede again before half-time.


Updated at 18.30 CEST

34 min: France think they have a try after charging down England’s kick. But after a review, Pauline Bourdon Sansus is ruled as offside – Bourdon Sansus appeals that she got her fingertips on the ball. The home crowd are fizzing.

ShareTRY! France 14-28 England (Packer)

England think they have a try, Marlie Packer bulldozing over but it’s referred to the TMO – did she get it down cleanly? It’s given, and the crowd let the officials know what they think of that decision. Boo city. Aitchison kicks the extras: she’s a perfect four from four so far.


31 min: And breathe (for a bit). The referee Maggie Cogger-Orr is scolding both sides at the scrum. England have possession inside French territory now. You just feel either side can score a try at any time.

ShareTRY! France 14-21 England (M Ménager)

What a game we are enjoying here! They’re going punch for punch. A sublime run from Bourdon Sansus and she finds the perfect pass to match and Marine Ménager sprints over out wide. The extras are kicked. That’s the try of the match so far!


Updated at 18.19 CEST

TRY! France 7-21 England (Jones)

A try out of nowhere! France try to play their way out from the back and it proves to be a serious, serious mistake. Megan Jones intercepts and there’s nobody to stop her racing over the line! Aitchison’s conversion from a very tight angle is good. She’s packed her kicking boots today.

Jones intercepts the ball before going on to score. Photograph: Lionel Hahn/RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty ImagesShare

Updated at 18.19 CEST

21 min: France have the momentum now. They have the ball, the crowd are behind them and it’s a French lineout just inside England’s half.

ShareTRY! France 7-14 England (Vernier)

France make their possession tell! At last they spread the ball that bit quicker and they find Gabrielle Vernier, one of their key players, who dashes into space and dots down. The extras are kicked and it is Game: On.

France’s players celebrate after scoring their first try. Photograph: Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty ImagesShare

Updated at 18.42 CEST

16 min: France pass the ball around slickly looking for a gap in England’s armour. It was stylish play but there was some crunching England’s tackles and they held out; something their opponents have twice been unable to do.


15 min: Can France get anything going? A scrum in England territory gives them a chance to recover – this time they do shunt England backwards. The visitors on defence now.

ShareTRY! France 0-14 England (Matthews)

Once more England test the France defence and it is found wanting. They pass the ball around in front of the France line and Alex Matthews finds the gap to cross easily. Holly Aitchison kicks the extras. France are yet to turn up.

Matthews scores England’s second try whilst under pressure from Ciofani. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty ImagesShare

Updated at 18.09 CEST

10 min: England win another lineout, Amy Cokayne’s early throws have been on point. England win a penalty in French territory and kick for another lineout just where France do not want it.


8 min: A France lineout, nice take and – almost! – a sublime kick from Bourdon Sansus. She popped it behind the England defence but there was just too much on it. That would’ve been a try if there was a bit less on the kick.

ShareTRY! France 0-7 England (Muir)

England play with pressure and patience, testing the France defence until they find an opening. Maud Muir powers over from close range – then the extras are kicked right in front of the posts. Just the start England wanted!

Muir celebrates after powering through for a try. Photograph: Lionel Hahn/RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty ImagesAitchison successfully kicks a conversion. Photograph: Lionel Hahn/RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty ImagesShare

Updated at 18.04 CEST

3 min: England win a lineout via Zoe Aldcroft, spread the ball to the other flank and probe the France defence. They’re holding up but under serious pressure on their own line …


2 min: The hosts have the ball early on. France have a scrum and a chance to test the England pack. The visitors claim an early penalty! A minor but solid success.


First-half kick-off! France get us under way.


Anthems: England’s nicely observed by the home crowd, who are too classy to boo. La Marseillaise is bellowed inspiringly. It’s a banger, bien sûr.


The teams march on to the pitch in Bordeaux! It’s a grand slam decider, two teams that are 4-0 in this Six Nations, aiming to stick a defeat on their rivals. The crowd is loud, as are the fireworks. What more could you want?


Updated at 17.42 CEST

Full-time news from Belfast: Ireland 15-12 Scotland. Scotland led twice but were pegged back each time. A Dannah O’Brien penalty six minutes from time put the hosts ahead for the first time and they held firm.

That means Ireland finish the Six Nations in third place, earning automatic qualification for the 2025 World Cup. Scotland end up fourth after a positive campaign, but that narrow defeat at the end will sting.


Updated at 17.35 CEST

John Mitchell speaks to BBC TV. The Red Roses coach urges his side: “We must keep the emotions calm so people can be decisive under pressure.” But he’s also keen for a challenge. “Today will be a different story [than against Ireland]. Today will be an arm-wrestle and we’re ready for it. We can’t wait.”


It’s dry in Bordeaux! (insert wine pun of your choice here). The rain has stopped and the tricolour flags are being waved fervently inside the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

England fans wave their flags at Stade Chaban-Delmas. Photograph: Lionel Hahn/RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty ImagesShare

Updated at 17.58 CEST

Marlie Packer also said this week that she wants England to play “foot on the throat” rugby against France (not literally, we can confirm).

The captain clearly agrees with her coach who’s said he wants England to continue “playing on the edge” despite being reduced to 14 – and briefly 13 – players during this tournament. They want to avoid France grabbing a physical edge early on.


Pre-match reading: Marlie Packer, the England captain, has given a terrific interview to Donald McRae.

“We’re in France and the crowd is going to be hostile,” she tells the Don. “But we know that can flip on its head because of the French crowd. If they’re not happy with the way their team are playing, they turn on them and give them a bit of a hard time.”


It seems the Red Roses got a healthy drenching on arrival. As was forecast, it’s been pelting it down in Bordeaux. Let’s see if it’s still raining as heavily come kick-off in 40 minutes.


Fancy a proper preview before kick-off? Sarah Rendell in Bordeaux has perfectly set the scene for us.

“The last time England lost in the women’s Six Nations Theresa May was prime minister, Chelsea were defending Premier League champions and The Shape of Water had just won best picture at the Oscars,” she begins. (Well, at least The Shape of Water has stood the test of time.)

ShareFrance team

After resting a few of their aces against Wales, France are playing with a full pack – as you would expect. Lineup changes include the return of Madoussou Fall at lock and Gaëlle Hermet, the former captain, at flanker.

One late swap: Joanna Grisez is out, replaced on the wing by Anne-Cécile Ciofani. That’s a blow: Grisez scored two tries against the Welsh last time out.

Danger players include the powerhouse Gabrielle Vernier and her fellow centre Nassira Konde. The No 8 Romane Ménager – whose twin sister, Marine, starts on the wing – is another physical threat, while fly-half Lina Queyroi offers silkier skills.

England are aiming for a 29th successive Women’s Six Nations victory. The last side to beat them in this competition? France at home in 2018, naturally. This is the team looking to repeat that trick.

France XV: Boulard; Ciofani, Konde, Vernier, M Ménager; Queyroi, Bourdon Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Khalfaoui, Feleu (capt), Fall, Escudero, Hermet, R Ménager.

Replacements: Riffonneau, Mwayembe, Joyeux, Feleu, Gros, Chambon, Berthoumieu, Jacquet.

ℹ Chᥲᥒgᥱmᥱᥒt

Joanna Grisez est forfait, elle est remplacée par Anne-Cecile Ciofani. Axelle Berthoumieu intègre le groupe #FRAANG

— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) April 27, 2024


Updated at 16.52 CEST

England team

A strong lineup with minimal changes. Lark Atkin-Davies is injured, so Amy Cokayne comes back in after suspension. Morwenna Talling retains her place after Rosie Galligan picked up a thumb injury in the warm-up against Ireland.

The player to watch, among many, is Ellie Kildunne: just the nine tries for her in this Six Nations so far. That’s more than double anyone apart from her teammate Abby Dow (five) and Kildunne has been this tournament’s standout star.

Below are the Red Roses starters aiming to win a third successive grand slam, but the real sign of England’s strength in depth is the bench. Emily Scarratt and Abbie Ward ready to come on when needed? Oof.

England XV: Kildunne; Dow, Jones, Heard, Breach; Aitchison, Hunt; Botterman, Cokayne, Muir, Aldcroft, Talling, Kabeya, M Packer (capt), Matthews.

Replacements: Powell, Carson, Clifford, Ward, Feaunati, L Packer, Scarratt, Gregson.


Late drama! Today’s early kick-off saw Wales snatch victory at the last, edging out Italy 22-20. In front of 10,592 in Cardiff, Sisilia Tuipulotu’s try in the final minutes levelled the scores before Lleucu George’s winning kick – redemption after her late miss against Scotland cost Wales a draw earlier in the tournament.

It’s still the wooden spoon for the hosts (a bonus-point win was needed to have any chance of avoiding that fate), but they will be relieved not to end this Six Nations winless.

“It is massive,” Ioan Cunningham, the head coach, told BBC Wales. “There is so much work, energy, effort gone into this campaign and things haven’t gone our way. It means so much to us all and we are just so delighted we managed to get across the line.”


The 2024 Women’s Six Nations has saved the best for last: a winner-takes-all grand slam decider between France and England in Bordeaux. Le Crunch!

The Red Roses are the form team, John Mitchell’s side improving, evolving and culminating in a 14-try demolition of Ireland last time out. They have become increasingly clinical as this competition has gone on and the back three – Ellie Kildunne, Abby Dow and Jess Breach – scored eight tries between them against the Irish. Yikes.

Les Bleues have had endure a bit more, showing their best in flashes. But they have raised their game in key moments and will be backed by a vociferous 27,000+ fans at Stade Chaban-Delmas. They’re a physical side, a menace at the breakdown and will be fired up as underdogs.

However it’s the visitors who have to be wary of ill-discipline: two red cards and two yellow cards have been dished out to England in this Six Nations. They didn’t matter a jot in their four previous cakewalks, but it’s a different situation in France.

Also, while England have crushed all before them, there’s an argument that France having been in a few scrapes – particularly in Scotland where they were behind at half-time – means they are more battle-tested if this goes close. Though you get the feeling England’s players are relishing the prospect of a challenge.

It kick-offs at 4.45pm BST (5.45pm local time). Starting XVs and live updates are on their way!


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