This weekend’s final round of fixtures sees the Women’s Six Nations on a roll, with large crowds, increased interest and higher standards.
How can the tournament capitalize on a great season?
Ben Morel, chief Six Nations of Six Nations, has been setting out his vision…
France and England are the top teams in the competition. It was not close. They were the top-ranked pair in 2020 and 2021, and they will be competing for this year’s title during this weekend’s final round.
The average margin of victory for England in the first four rounds was 62 points. France’s average winning margin in the first four rounds is 62 points. France’s average margin of victory is 29 points.
Morel said that the tournament isn’t blind to the differences in standards but is looking forward.
“There are many great matches between other unions. He said that this is not something to be overlooked.
“But, we fully understand that there is a difference between the two. It’s not hard to see why England and France are so competitive. They are one of the most competitive teams in the world, if they are not the best.
A unique fixture list
The “new normal” for the Women’s Six Nations is a slot in the sporting calendar that falls during spring. These matches were used to take place alongside the men’s tournament at the beginning of February or the end of March.
The Covid pandemic prompted a rethink. The tournament was eventually reopened in 2021 in condensed form. However, restrictions were eased when it moved to April.
The women’s tournament has had the space it needed from the men’s competition.
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Instead of following the men’s fixture list exactly, the women’s tournament has its own. This will ensure a unique narrative even though the ending may look the same for quite some time.
Morel stated that one of the greatest benefits of a particular window is the freedom to not be dependent on men’s schedules.
“This year was a little bit of a coincidence because that matches the interests for the women’s sport to keep the fixtures the way they are. That will change going forward.
“For the moment, I anticipate that the fixture between England & France will be on the last weekend.”
Details of the 2023 tournament will be revealed in June.
Record crowds, major sponsors, media coverage… but players continue to compete in their free time, despite having work commitments.
England’s rugby players can now focus on their game after the Rugby Football Union gave out 28 full-time contracts in 2019. Other nations are still playing catch up.
France’s semi-professional players make up the majority, while Wales offers 12 full-time contracts for the first time in this year’s tournament.