The French XV clears the Welsh obstacle, and offers itself a final against England in the Women's Six Nations Tournament

It was the last step

The French XV clears the Welsh obstacle, and offers itself a final against England in the Women's Six Nations Tournament

It was the last step. The one you had to avoid tripping over at all costs to give yourself a chance of knocking on the door. The French women's rugby team did not fail in the task on Sunday April 21, when it came time to travel to Wales, in the penultimate match of the 2024 Six Nations Tournament. Clear winners in Cardiff ( 40-0), the teammates of captain Manae Feleu offered themselves a final in the competition. Saturday April 27, in Bordeaux, the Blues will host the English, five-time title holders, and will aspire to pick up the formidable Red Roses, for a first coronation since 2018.

With forty points and six tries scored – for zero conceded – and asserted offensive intentions, the French did not have the lead at the Crunch on Sunday. “We cannot afford to waste this match and think directly about England,” warned fullback Emilie Boulard before the match.

Even against the Welsh who were last in the 2024 edition of the Six Nations, the French had to put in a complete match. And despite some problems on the touchline and in discipline (three yellow cards), the Blues showed mastery, winning the offensive bonus, and consolidating their second place in the competition (19 points) behind the “Red Roses » (20 points).

“The goal is to win the tournament.”

Reinforced by several players from the French Sevens team – which will defend its silver medal won in Tokyo 2021 at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games – the French women went all out, like Anne-Cécile Ciofani, best player in the world at VII in 2021, who debuted her first XV cap on Sunday. Alongside Joanna Grisez and Chloé Jacquet, other septists established in Cardiff, the French winger stood out to take the Welsh defense from behind. On the other hand, in particular – because Wales had possession in the first period – the Blue penalized their opponents on numerous occasions.

“I'm really happy to be back with this group, it's a treat to be back on the pitch at XV,” reacted winger Joanna Grisez, author of two tries, at the end of this match at the microphone of France 2. Our objective was to put our defense in place, we are happy with the result in this sector even if we could have done a little better. We had the lead in Wales and the next step will be England. »

In this anticipated final of the Tournament between the two best teams on the continent for years – with a clear advantage over England since 2019 – the Blues will aspire to overthrow the English, after numerous disappointments in a row. They will have the advantage of hosting, in a Chaban-Delmas stadium in Bordeaux, where more than 18,000 tickets have already been sold. “The goal is to win the Tournament. If our performances can also seduce the public and fill the stadiums, that’s just a bonus. But performance is the primary objective,” insisted fullback Emilie Boulard during the week.