This year's championship has led to a Grand Slam decider in Bayonne
Women’s Six Nations France v England Preview
It all comes down to this match in Bayonne. France host England to determine this year’s Women’s Six Nations winner – and who takes a Grand Slam.
Both teams have secured bonus-point wins over Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy. The only thing separating the sides so far is points difference, with the Red Roses coming out the better.
The rivals going toe-to-toe makes the title permutations quite simple. France win, they win. England win, they win. If they draw and France have a bonus point, France win. If they draw and England have a bonus point, England win. But if they draw and both have bonus points (or both have no bonus point), England will win on points difference (the Red Roses are 132 points ahead of France).
However, France do have the advantage in one regard – playing at home. The French have won 21 of their last 22 home games in the tournament, the only loss coming to England in 2020. On the other hand, England have won their last nine matches against France and are on a 22-Test wining streak.
The hosts also have the best functioning scrum in the competition. They have a success rate of 97% as they have lost one in the last 30 scrums. England may not have had the best set-piece performances by their standards but the Red Roses maul is the most successful. They have made the most yards from a driving maul (196) and have scored eight tries from it.
Check out our in-depth look at the key areas of this France v England Grand Slam decider and find all the team news and coaches’ views in our Women’s Six Nations France v England Preview below.
What’s the big France v England team news?
France have made two changes to their starting line-up with Caroline Drouin fit to start at fly-half. Jessy Tremouliere drops to the bench, as does Julie Annery. Audrey Forlani comes in at lock and Celine Ferer shifts to flanker.
England, meanwhile, seem to have found their preferred 15 as they make only one, injury-enforced change to their starting XV. Sarah Hunter has been withdrawn from the squad with a rib injury, so Poppy Cleall starts at No 8 and Emily Scarratt takes over the captaincy.
Flanker Alex Matthews will win her 50th cap and the Red Roses have opted for a six-two split on the bench, with Sarah Beckett and Sadia Kabeya in the match-day 23.
What have the coaches said?
France head coach Annick Hayraud: “We have had a very difficult time putting together a full 80-minute performance during this year’s Women’s Six Nations.
“We need to start building continuity and execute it in the second half.”
England head coach Simon Middleton: “Saturday will not define us as a team but there’s no hiding away from the fact that so much is riding on the game. That’s fine by us, we want that level of challenge, otherwise how do you realise your potential and prove your worth?
“Matches against France are always tight affairs. We know this one will be no different. I believe it will come down to which squad can maintain their intensity and focus, something we have done well in this competition. We are looking forward to the challenge.”
What time is kick-off and is it on TV?
The match will kick-off at 2.15pm BST on Saturday 30 April at the Stade Jean Dauger.
The fixture will be available to watch on BBC Two and the BBC iPlayer in the UK. For more information on how to watch the match from elsewhere in the world see our Women’s Six Nations live stream guide.
Hollie Davidson will referee the game and will be assisted by Joy Neville and Maria Giovanna Pacifico. Lee Jeffrey is the TMO.
What are the line-ups?
France: Chloe Jacquet; Caroline Boujard, Maelle Filopon, Gabrielle Vernier, Marine Menager; Caroline Drouin, Laure Sansus; Annaelle Deshaye, Agathe Sochat, Clara Joyeux, Madoussou Fall, Audrey Forlani, Celine Ferer, Gaelle Hermet, Romane Menager.
Replacements: Laure Touye, Coco Lindelauf, Yllana Brosseau, Julie Annery, Emeline Gros, Alexandra Chambon, Jessy Tremouliere, Emilie Boulard.
England: Helena Rowland; Lydia Thompson, Emily Scarratt, Holly Aitchison, Jess Breach; Zoe Harrison, Leanne Infante; Vickii Cornborough, Lark Davies, Sarah Bern, Zoe Aldcroft, Abbie Ward, Alex Matthews, Marlie Packer, Poppy Cleall.
Replacements: Amy Cokayne, Hannah Botterman, Maud Muir, Rosie Galligan, Sarah Beckett, Sadia Kabeya, Natasha Hunt, Ellie Kildunne.
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