05 Feb Womens Six Nations 2016
Ireland will come into this year’s championship quietly confident after winning the tournament last year. Donnybrook will be the reigning champions home this year, after switching locations from Ashbourne. The challenge for Ireland this year will be managing the more difficult set of fixtures, with arguably their toughest two games – against England and France, both away. Ireland a real benefit of two recent Test games, against England and Wales, as they work on building new combinations and building depth.
Like Ireland and England, France will lose some of their sevens players to the World Series this season but have the benefit of huge depth among their youth ranks and the reliable boot of Jessie Tremoliere means the French have a powerful points scoring weapon. If you were to have a bet on this year’s championship my money would be on this youthful French team.
England where really disappointing in last years championship after winning the world cup only a couple of months before this. England will be determined to prove their doubters wrong this year. Hannah Gallagher is now a key player in England’s back row and filling the famous number seven shirt means her performances are vital for her team. A inconsistent 2014 will have frustrated Wales coach Rhys Edwards, who saw his side beat England and Scotland but lose their other three games and he will be looking for much improved consistency this time around as his team seek to secure their World Cup bIrth
The Welsh have some exciting talent coming through their ranks and Robyn Wilkins is just one young name to watch this season as she has begun to find her feet at test level. Scotland in the past have struggled in the championship, There has been a major positive shift of the pitch in bringing in new coaching such as Shane Munro this can only have a positive effect on the team. Italy have been one of the most improved sides in the world over the last few seasons and in finishing third last season, ahead of World Champions England, Andrea di Giandomenico’s team are proving to everyone that they are no longer the basement team of the Championship.
Thanks to last season’s results, Italy are currently ranked ahead of Wales and Scotland in the battle between the three teams to grab the final two World Cup spots available through the Championship, and having missed out in 2014 they will be desperate to secure their place in the coming week.