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France set up Grand Slam decider with England after win over Wales

France's fly-half Lina Queyroi converts the first try during the Six Nations international women's rugby union match between Wales and France at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, south Wales on April 21, 2024. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)

France sealed a 40-0 win over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park to make their final-round clash with old foes England a Grand Slam decider on home soil.

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At the end of round four, only a point separates England and France at the top of the table.

First-half tries from Annaelle Deshayes, Joanna Grisez, and Romane Menager gave the visitors a 19-0 lead at the break before Gabrielle Vernier added the bonus-point score early in the second half.

Manae Feleu scored the fifth try for the visitors in the 58th minute, and Grisez rounded off the match with her second try of the afternoon.

Fixture
Womens Six Nations
Wales Women's
0 - 40
Full-time
France Women's
All Stats and Data

Anne-Cecile Ciofani was shown a yellow card in the second minute of the match for making head contact in a tackle on Gwenllian Pyrs, but France regrouped to score the opening try through prop Deshayes after a quickly taken lineout from Pauline Bourdon Sansus.

In Wales’s first real opportunity in the 22, France turned the tables to score their second as Grisez sped away solo with a stunning 95-metre interception, converted by Lina Queyroi to make the score 14-0 to Les Bleues after 17 minutes.

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The French back row combined with flare to score their third try, as Teano Feleu picked up the ball from the back of the scrum and went running into space, with Menager alongside her in support. Feleu escaped a tackle before she released the pass to Menager, who dotted down for a well-worked score. The conversion attempt strayed wide, but France took a 19-0 lead into half-time.

Despite the scoreline at the break, Wales had held 69% possession and territory in the first half, carried 78 times to France’s 27, and made 25 tackles to France’s 97. The ruthlessness of the French defence however denied Ioan Cunningham’s side any opportunities to covert the statistics into points.

France added the bonus point in the 45th minute with a perfect pass from Bourdon Sansus setting up Vernier to dart ten metres to score under the posts, converted easily by Queyroi.

Despite Wales initially holding France up, the fifth try soon followed in the second wave of attack when captain Manae Feleu carried hard across the line, again converted by Queyroi.

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A second yellow card for France was shown in the 63rd minute, this time to prop Assia Khalfaoui for head contact.

Grisez scored the final try of the afternoon as she collected a loose pass from Wales and did the damage in the red zone. Morgane Bourgeois had the final word as she added the conversion to take their points tally up to 40.

The result means that Wales will not be able to replicate their third-place finish from the year prior in this year’s Women’s Six Nations, losing a place in 2024’s WXV 1 in the process.

France, who were already confirmed to finish in the top two before the match against Wales, will face England on 27th April in a Grand Slam decider in Bordeaux. They have already secured their space in the top level of WXV, to be played in Canada in September and October this year.

England and France, as well as the yet-to-be-confirmed third-place team in the Women’s Six Nations, will join the top three teams from the Pacific Four Series in WXV 1.

The all-important Six Nations third place, which holds both Rugby World Cup 2025 and WXV 1 (2024) qualification, will remain in the balance until the final day of the tournament.


Ireland vs Scotland looks to be the match that will decide the third place, with Scotland currently occupying the space with eight points after a historic first win in Italy, and Ireland in fifth with six points.

Italy, who will face a winless Welsh side on ‘Super Saturday’ and are currently fourth (six points) could take third place if they secure a bonus-point win against Wales, and if Ireland vs. Scotland ends in a draw without any bonus points for Scotland.

The teams who finish fourth and fifth in the Women’s Six Nations will compete in WXV 2, won last year by Scotland and held in South Africa for a second year.

The sixth-placed team at the end of the Six Nations will enter into a playoff with Spain, the winners of the Rugby Europe Championship, to determine whether they will be placed in WXV 2, or WXV 3, which was won by Ireland in 2024.

For the Six Nations teams who missed out on the RWC2025 qualification, a further six places are available at WXV for the highest-finishing teams who are yet to have secured their place.

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Abe 3 hours ago
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Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

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Turlough 7 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

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