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6 Nations

England Secure Triple Crown with Welsh Win

England have sealed the Six Nations Triple Crown with a hard fought win over Wales

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(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

England have sealed a Six Nations Triple Crown with a 33-30 win over Wales this evening at Twickenham.

The victory which was by no means easy for the hosts as Wales put up a valiant performance with a late rally, but it leaves them in contention for the title as they wait to see how France and Ireland fair in their final games. 

England came bolting out of the blocks at the start of the game, putting in some massive early hits on their opponents and their bright opening was rewarded in the fourth minute. 

Following a break through the Welsh half the home side had a line-out inside the Welsh 22 and off that they unleashed a brilliant move leading to Anthony Watson stepping through the defence, holding off two tackles to touch down. Captain Owen Farrell slotted over the conversion from the right-hand side to make it 7-0. 

Wales came back fighting and thought they had scored a try five minutes later only for George North to knock-on at the vital moment. Although Leigh Halfpenny got his side off the scoreboard with a penalty that resulted from the afters of that try incident. 

However, a quarter of an hour in and Farrell smashed over a penalty of his own to push England 10-3 in front. 

Halfpenny cut the lead back down to four minutes later as he kicked his second penalty of the match. 

It was the hosts that struck again next as they spread the ball out left off the back of a line-out that was in a similar position to the one they scored their opening try from and Elliot Daly ended up darting over in the corner after some quick hands. Farrell made no mistake from the conversion to stretch the lead out to 17-6 with eight minutes to go in the half. 

Over the final 10 minutes Farrell and Dan Biggar traded blows at penalty time to leave the score at 20-9 in England’s favour come the half-time whistle. 

It took Wales just 27 seconds to register the first try of the second half as they broke from their own 22 straight from kick-off putting the ball through the hands while charging forward, with Tomos Williams eventually sending it to Justin Tipuric, who raced under the posts for the score. Biggar provided the extras with from the tee to make it 20-16 a minute into the half. 

However, four minutes later and England went further in front as Farrell once again punished the visitors with a penalty kick. 

While Farrell received attention for an injury George Ford took over kicking duties as the home team won another penalty, but the result was the same as the ball sailed between the posts to extend the lead back out to 10-points. 

Just past the hour mark and England had their third try of the evening as Ben Youngs broke away in the middle of the pitch, and within a number of phases the ball found Manu Tuilagi who had the easiest of jobs in waltzing over for the try. Farrell continued his perfect form from the tee to leave it at 33-16 heading into the final quarter. 

Wales camped in the England 22 for the next few minutes as England conceded penalty after penalty before substitute Ellis Genge was sent to the sin-bin after the referee lost his patience. 

Two minutes later and they were reduced to 13-men as Tuilagi went from hero to villain following a dangerous hit on George North, which left the referee with no option other than to show him a red card. 

With that two man advantage Wales eventually got over the line for a try as Biggar ran through a gap in the defensive line, reaching out and tapping down. He converted his own try to make it 33-23 with two minutes to go. 

Wales ensured they left Twickenham with a losing bonus-point as Rhys Webb provided a lovely offload for Tipuric to touch down for his second try of the game with the clock in red. Biggar kicked the two-points with the last action of the match to leave it at 33-30 come the whistle.

As mentioned above the win leaves England in with a chance of winning the championship depending on results elsewhere and their own postponed fixture against Italy that was meant to be played next weekend. Meanwhile Wales will hope to avoid a fourth loss in a row when they take on Scotland next Saturday. 

Player Ratings

England Starting XV: 

Elliot Daly (8), Anthony Watson (8),  Manu Tuilagi (6), Owen Farrell (7), Jonny May (N/A), George Ford (7), Ben Youngs (9); Joe Marler (8), Jamie George (7), Kyle Sinckler (7) Maro Itoje (8), George Kruis (7), Courtney Lawes (7), Mark Wilson (7), Tom Curry (8)

Replacements (7)

Wales Starting XV: 

Leigh Halfpenny (8), George North (7), Nick Tompkins (8), Hadleigh Parkes (7), Liam Williams (7), Dan Biggar (8), Tomos Williams (7); Rob Evans (6), Ken Owens (7), Dillon Lewis (6), Jake Ball (7), Alun Wyn Jones (8), Ross Moriarty (7), Justin Tipuric (8), Josh Navidi (8)

Replacements (7)


6 Nations

Ireland’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations Home Games To Be Played At Musgrave Park

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Ireland’s home matches in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations will be played at Musgrave Park.

The Cork venue has been the home of the Ireland U20s since 2019 and has become a real fortress in recent seasons, with Ireland Women also enjoying huge support there when they defeated Italy at Musgrave Park in last year’s Six Nations.

Greg McWilliams‘ side open their 2023 Championship against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, 25th March (2.15pm) before welcoming France to Cork in Round 2 on Saturday, 1st April (3.15pm). After a rest weekend, Ireland will be on the road again, going head-to-head with Italy in Parma on Saturday, 15th April (4.45pm).

World Cup finalists England will visit Musgrave Park in Round 4 on Saturday, 22nd April (2.15pm) and the Championship will conclude with a trip to Edinburgh to take on Scotland at the DAM Health Stadium on Saturday, 29th April (7.30pm).

“We received huge home support during last year’s Six Nations and we’re excited to make Cork our home base for the 2023 Championship,” McWilliams said. “We enjoyed a good day out against Italy last year, with the people of Cork coming out to support the team and we will be hoping for more of the same in 2023, as two of the best teams in women’s rugby come to visit.”

Ticket details for Ireland’s home matches at Musgrave Park will be announced in due course.

TikTok Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2023:

  • Wales v Ireland, Saturday 25 March, Cardiff Arms Park, 2.15pm
  • Ireland v France, Saturday 1 April, Musgrave Park, 3.15pm
  • Italy v Ireland, Saturday 15 April, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 4.45pm
  • Ireland v England, Saturday 22 April, Musgrave Park, 2.15pm
  • Scotland v Ireland, Saturday 29 April, DAM Health Stadium, 7.30pm.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Leading Rugby Stakeholders Unite To Consider Future Of Rugby

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Rugby’s major stakeholders have united to consider the short and long-term insights and priorities for ensuring the sport is a relevant, accessible and attractive sport for all as it grows over the next decade.

The World Rugby Shape of the Game conference, hosted in London, gathered leading coaching, playing, officiating, medical and event owner minds to consider how to build a better game for all, focusing on safety and spectacle. Underpinning that mission is the ongoing prioritisation of player welfare, while fostering an environment that is simpler, more accessible and more attractive.

It will be followed by similar conferences on the elite women’s 15s and community games as the sport looks to growth opportunities over the next decade. The process will also consider fan views and general sport and entertainment considerations to create a holistic approach to the future of the sport.

Over two days, delegates considered the global welfare landscape, including reinforcing the data regarding the relative safety of the community and age-grade game, global playing trends and the role of match officials, the narrative around the sport with all participants focused on the bigger picture.

The conference identified key areas for further exploration:

• Focus on the fan: Insights from fans and broadcasters to inform the longer-term development of the sport as an entertainment product

• Speed up the game: Focus on interventions and innovations to reduce stoppages, increase continuity and the rhythm of the game

• Support match officials: Provide them with the tools to perform their role to their best ability, consider TMO intervention reductions

• Underpin with player welfare: Continue to implement evidence-based strategies to mitigate head injuries and overall injuries in the sport

• Change the narrative: The community game is the lifeblood of the sport, the risk of injury is much less than that of the elite game, focus on the benefits while managing the risks

World Rugby will take away the considerations and insights for further exploration to prioritise areas that can be implemented in the short term without changing law ahead of Rugby World Cup 2023.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“As a sport, a movement and a family, we must always challenge ourselves to be better. That means taking time to consider what fans and players want the future of our sport to be, a future where more people want to play and support the game, where injury risk is reducing and where all involved in the game have their say.

“This conference was the first step towards a reimagination of our sport. The full and frank contributions from a wide spectrum of disciplines gives us plenty to consider and to move forward with through our structures. I would like to thank all participants for taking time out at a busy time to unite, collaborate and consider our future.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

England side to face Springboks

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England host the Springboks at Twickenham Stadium in their final Autumn Nations Series game on Saturday 26 November (5.30pm KO).

Manu Tuilagi will make his 50th appearance for England at outside centre, having made his debut for England against Wales in August 2011. Owen Farrell will again captain the side at inside centre.

Marcus Smith is at fly half and Jack van Poortvliet is at scrum half. Tommy Freeman comes in at right wing, Jonny May is at left wing and Freddie Steward is full back.

Jamie George (hooker) and Mako Vunipola join fellow prop Kyle Sinckler in two changes to the starting front row. Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill stay at lock. Alex Coles comes in at flanker with Tom Curry, while Billy Vunipola is No.8.

Last weekend’s double-try scorer Will Stuart is named as a finisher along with Luke Cowan-Dickie, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, Henry Slade and vice-captains Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell.

“This is our last game of the autumn and our chance to continue building on the improvements we have made throughout the matches,” said Jones. “We have made steady progress from game-to-game, culminating in a pulsating draw against New Zealand.

“Now we have the chance to test ourselves against the might of the world champions. We’re going out there to light the crowd up. The support at Twickenham was outstanding last week and we want to work hard on the pitch to make sure we have another atmosphere like that again on Saturday.”

Squad

Starters

15. Freddie Steward

14. Tommy Freeman

13. Manu Tuilagi

12. Owen Farrell (C)

11. Jonny May

10. Marcus Smith

9. Jack van Poortvliet

1. Mako Vunipola

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. Jonny Hill

6. Alex Coles

7. Tom Curry

8. Billy Vunipola

Finishers

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie

17. Ellis Genge

18. Will Stuart

19. David Ribbans

20. Sam Simmonds

21. Ben Youngs

22. Henry Slade

23. Jack Nowell


Images & Content from England Rugby
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