The opening round of the championship concludes in Grenoble
Women’s Six Nations France v Italy Preview
France will host Italy in the final match of round one of the 2022 Women’s Six Nations.
Italy are keen to get back to the heights of 2019 when they achieved their best-ever finish of second in the championship, while France will want to finally beat England (they are on a nine-match losing run) and lift the trophy for the first time since 2018.
Former France men’s captain Thierry Dusautoir has spent time with les Bleues in the lead-up to this match, in particular discussing his experiences of playing in a Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 as the women will do later this year.
France coach Annick Hayraud said: “To be enriched by sharing the experience of a man like Thierry, we learn, we discover, we understand. This is something very positive for the players and also for the staff.”
France impressed in the autumn with two comprehensive wins over the Black Ferns so will be looking to carry that form into the match against Italy in Grenoble on Sunday.
The Azzurre achieved their 2021 goal of booking their place at the World Cup but they have not played since those European qualifiers in September. Will they be rusty in this opener?
Here are the details you need with our Women’s Six Nations France v Italy preview.
What’s the big France v Italy team news?
France have plenty of experience up front, including captain Gaelle Hermet and Romane Menager in the back row, but it is not the same story in the back-line.
Alexandra Chambon, who made her Test debut against South Africa in November, gets the nod at scrum-half and will win her second cap alongside fly-half Caroline Drouin.
In the back three, full-back Chloe Jacquet, another who won her first cap the autumn, is joined by Lea Murie and Marie Aurelie Castel. The trio have a combined tally of a dozen caps.
There is also a contrast in experience in the Italy line-up. Fly-half Beatrice Rigoni and No 8 Elisa Giordano will win their 50th caps while Emanuela Stecca and Alessandra Frangipani could also make their debuts from the bench.
Manuela Furlan, winning her 82nd cap, will captain the team from full-back.
What time is kick off and is it on TV?
The match will kick off at 3pm (UK & Ireland time, 4pm in France) on Sunday 27 March at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble.
It will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer in the UK and for more information on how to watch the match from elsewhere in the world see our Women’s Six Nations live stream guide.
The referee is Sara Cox with Aimee Barrett-Theron and Precious Pazani assisting. Chris Assmus will be the TMO.
What are the line-ups?
France: Chloe Jacquet; Lea Murie, Maelle Filopon, Gabrielle Vernier, Marie Aurélie Castel; Caroline Drouin, Alexandra Chambon; Annaelle Deshayes, Agathe Sochat, Clara Joyeux, Madoussou Fall, Audrey Forlani, Romane Menager, Gaelle Hermet (captain), Emeline Gros.
Replacements: Laure Touye, Coco Lindelauf, Assia Khalfaoui, Manae Feleu, Axelle Berthoumieu, Laure Sansus, Jessy Tremouliere, Emilie Boulard.
Italy: Manuela Furlan (captain); Aura Muzzo, Michela Sillari, Alyssa D’Inca, Maria Magatti; Beatrice Rigoni, Sofia Stefan; Gaia Maris, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Sara Tounesi, Giordana Duca, Francesca Sberna, Isabella Locatelli, Elisa Giordano.
Replacements: Vittoria Vecchini, Emanuela Stecca, Sara Seye, Valeria Fedrighi, Alessandra Frangipani, Sara Barattin, Veronica Madia, Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi.
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