Follow live updates as Wales look to pull off a huge upset as they host undefeated France in the Women’s Six Nations. The visitors are aiming to continue their Grand Slam bid and victory at Cardiff Arms Park would go halfway to setting up a potential title decider against England Women’s Rugby next weekend.
Wales coach Ioan Cunningham will be expecting a response after his side suffered a heavy defeat to England last time out. Wales came into the match on the back of consecutive wins to open their campaign but despite a resilient effort, a 58-5 defeat at Kingsholm was a crushing blow.
France come into the match with an impressive recent record against the Welsh and have won their past five Six Nations meetings. Les Bleues have beaten Italy, Ireland and Scotland so far to keep their Grand Slam hopes on track, and Wales would be doing England a significant favor if they can spring an upset under the floodlights.
England face Ireland on Sunday and if the two unbeaten sides come through this weekend unscathed, it would set up a Women’s Six Nations grand slam decider in Bayonne on the final weekend of the campaign. Follow live updates from Wales vs France in the Women’s Six Nations, below:
Wales vs. France
The two teams going head to head are world class but there are some individual talents in the respective sides who supporters should watch out for.
For hosts Wales it’s Alisha Butchers and Siwan Lillicrap. While they may not make headlines all the time, they are almost doing the background work at the scrum and in rucks. They put their team on the front foot and Lillicrap’s leadership spearheads the team to victory.
France, meanwhile, have Caroline Boujard and Madoussou Fall. Boujard will bring fire to their attack which France have lacked during the winger’s absence. And in Fall France have one of the best defenders in the championship. She works tirelessly to hold the gainline and tonight’s match will be no different.
The stars will soon be in action with kick-off coming in half an hour.
Sarah Rendell22 April 2022 19:30
Wales vs. France
So are France in the perfect position to take the Grand Slam? You would like to think so after recording three bonus point wins but England have done the same.
France will have to continue their perfect streak with another BP win and if they don’t they could gift the title to the Red Roses. Even winning the match without a bonus point could see them lost the title even if they beat England.
It’s a difficult position for France to be in but they have been boosted by the return of Caroline Boujard. The winger scored a hat-trick in the first half against Wales last year and France will be hoping she brings the flair they have been slightly lacking in the 2022 tournament so far.
If they do manage to bag the bonus point they will know they are in the perfect stance to win the title. What would they have to do after that? Beat England.
Sarah Rendell22 April 2022 19:22
Wales vs. France
Wales were convincingly beaten by England two weeks ago but the team’s head coach Ioan Cunningham says they are learning from the experience.
During the match Wales had a dominant set piece and started the match well. It was just as the match player out that Wales dropped off slightly and the Red Roses exploited them.
Cunningham said: “We took a lot of learnings from the England Test. We’ve had a good two weeks’ build-up to this game and we’re excited to kick on. One of the learnings was how we dealt with the occasion at Kingsholm and we are looking forward to returning home to Cardiff Arms Park.
“A big home crowd on Friday night will give the players a real boost, hopefully we can start well and put in a good performance.
“France are one of the top three teams in the world, they have powerful runners and attacking options all over the pitch that will certainly test us. We need to be ready to take all our own attacking opportunities and our selection behind the scrum reflects that. We have looked at combinations that will hopefully give us some additional attacking options and help get the ball to our outside backs.”
Sarah Rendell22 April 2022 19:14
Wales vs France: Team news
Both teams have revealed their starting XVs for this clash.
Wales have made five changes to their starting line-up from that defeat to England.
There’s a new half-back pair in Elinor Snowsill and Keira Bevan, while in the forwards Cerys Hale comes into the front row, Natalia John starts at lock and Bethan Lewis is at flanker. There’s alos two positional changes as Robyn Wilkins starts at center and captain Siwan Lillicrap is at No 8.
Wales: Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Robyn Wilkins, Jasmine Joyce; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Alisha Butchers, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (captain).
Replacements: Kelsey Jones, Cara Hope, Donna Rose, Alex Callender, Sioned Harries, Ffion Lewis, Kerin Lake, Niamh Terry
For France there are six changes to their starting XV. Star winger Caroline Boujard returns from injury and there’s a new center pairing of Maelle Filopon and Gabrielle Vernier. Agathe Sochat and Clara Joyeux start in the front row while Romane Menager comes in at No 8. Positonally Marine Menager moves to center and Chloe Jacquet starts at full-back.
France: Chloe Jacquet; Caroline Boujard, Maelle Filopon, Gabrielle Vernier, Marine Menager; Jessy Tremouliere, Laure Sansus; Annaelle Deshaye, Agathe Sochat, Clara Joyeux, Celine Ferer, Madoussou Fall, Julie Annery, Gaelle Hermet (captain), Romane Menager.
Replacements: Laure Touye, Coco Lindelauf, Assia Khalfaoui, Audrey Forlani, Emeline Gros, Alexandra Chambon, Morgane Peyronnet, Emilie Boulard.
Sarah Rendell22 April 2022 19:06
Wales vs. France
Hello and welcome to the fourth round of the Women’s Six Nations!
There are three staggered matches this weekend with the first being Wales vs France, which kicks off at 8pm.
Hosts Wales will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to England two weeks ago. The team were brave but they couldn’t hold out long enough and the Red Roses ran riot in the second half.
France, meanwhile, have had a perfect run in terms of results. They have bagged three bonus point wins which means they have gone toe-to-toe with tournament favorites England.
But will they be able to continue the streak at Cardiff Arms Park? We will find out in just under an hour’s time.
Sarah Rendell22 April 2022 19:01
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.