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Dublin: 11°C Monday 10 May 2021

England win Women's Six Nations after France held to draw ahead of Ireland showdown

The French are coming to Dublin for their final game of the tournament next weekend.

It finished 13-13 between Scotland and France.
It finished 13-13 between Scotland and France.
Image: Craig Watson/INPHO

ENGLAND HAVE BEEN crowned the 2020 Women’s Six Nations champions after nearest challengers France were held to a shock 13-13 draw by Scotland in Glasgow on Sunday.

France, the 2018 champions, needed to win to ensure the title race would go all the way to next week’s concluding round against Ireland and were on course at 13-6 up with just seven minutes left.

But Scotland wing Rachel Shankland marked her Test debut with a well-taken try before Helen Nelson landed a tough conversion from out on the right to level the scores.

The result is a timely boost for Ireland who defeated Italy last night in Dublin to maintain their winning home form in the tournament ahead of that final Six Nations outing against France.

The game was originally scheduled to take place in Lille, but France have agreed to move the fixture to Ireland due to the Covid-19 protocols here. The French are currently second on the Six Nations table, but are level on points with Ireland, and a win next weekend would see Adam Griggs’ side claim the runner-up spot.

Scotland’s draw with France left reigning champions England with an unassailable six-point lead ahead of their 1 November finale against Italy in a tournament which, in common with other major sporting competitions this year, has been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Victory away to the Azzurri would give England back-to-back Grand Slams.

Before the coronavirus halted the competition for eight months, England won their opening four games, starting with a hard-fought 19-13 success away to perennial rivals France in Pau.

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“We are delighted to have retained the title after four big performances from the team to date,” said England women’s coach Simon Middleton in a Rugby Football Union statement.

“It’s a fitting reward for all the hard work put in earlier this year. We have a big week ahead and the aim is to stay focused on securing the Grand Slam in Italy next weekend.”

© – AFP, 2020

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