What next for the Women’s Six Nations?

England have progressed to Saturday’s last through two convincing wins, beating Scotland 52-10 and Italy 67-3
Venue: Twickenham Stoop Date: Saturday, 24 April Kick-off: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Watch dwell on BBC Two; hear on BBC Radio 5 Live and comply with dwell textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site and app.

The 2021 Women’s Six Nations will draw to a detailed on finals day on Saturday with England and France assembly to find out the match winner.

The adjusted format and April window, away from the males’s match, was created as a consequence of the pandemic.

However, contrasting funding into girls’s Test sides from unions has been highlighted by the hole between England and France, after which the relaxation.

So, how ought to the Women’s Six Nations evolve from right here?

We requested former Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan, England World Cup winner Danielle Waterman, former Wales ahead Gemma Hallett and ScrumQueens.comexternal-link writers Ali Donnelly and John Birch for their ideas.

Would you retain the new April window for the Women’s Six Nations?

Fiona Coghlan: “As much as I love the tradition around the Six Nations, the move to the April window appears to be all positive. The weather has been better. The level of media coverage has been very good on all platforms. The accessibility to all the games has been great.”

Scrum Queens writers: “Yes. The club season does not have to have a huge hole in the middle of it, games are played in decent weather and there has definitely been more media interest because there is so little other Test rugby happening at the same time.”

Danielle Waterman: “Having a separate window to the men’s Six Nations is a real positive. Although I don’t think it has been good to have the first two rounds clash with the Heineken Champions Cup knockout weekends.

“I additionally assume the girls’s home calendars will must be adjusted as it is extremely near the finish of the membership season.”

Gemma Hallett: “Initially I wasn’t in favour and questioned the benefit of disassociating from the best rugby championship and the energy of that model.

“But we’ve seen much greater coverage, more conversations and some great rugby in far better conditions. Ultimately, I think it should be the players’ decision, but yes I am now an advocate for it.”

Would you revert to the outdated format? Keep the 2021 format? Or change once more for 2022?

Gemma Hallett: “Wales, Scotland, Italy and Ireland need as many games as possible. I would like to see it revert to its traditional format. The beauty of the Six Nations is if you slip up this year, you’ve got the opportunity again next year, you’ll owe them one and get to go again.

“Taking Test matches away from these nations will probably be a backwards step.”

Fiona Coghlan: “Get rid of the 2021 format. In the previous I beloved taking part in the different 5 international locations, however I’d be open to solutions how the sport may very well be expanded and grown.

“There is a need to get as many international games in as possible, not reduce the number.”

Danielle Waterman: “I am undecided. I love the deep history of the Six Nations but also don’t know if this format is hindering the progression of the women’s game.

“I’m actually wanting ahead to there being a finals weekend however maybe that is additionally as a result of now we have hardly ever had all three of the video games unfold out on the identical day.”

Scrum Queens writers: “We’d prefer to see the format of the competitors change, however groups to play no less than the identical variety of video games as earlier than.

“The Six Nations is a great competition for the teams who are in it, but it does nothing to develop European Test rugby as a whole. There is a golden opportunity now for the women’s game to do something different.”

Is it proper to maintain asking Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to play England and France frequently whereas the funding of their girls’s programmes is so totally different?

Danielle Waterman: “Yes. I think each time these countries play England and France they raise their game and scorelines often don’t reflect the battle the players have on the field.”

Ireland beat Wales
Wales, whose males received their model of the Six Nations, have misplaced each video games to date, conceding 98 factors and scoring none.

Gemma Hallett: “I think the question should be, ‘is it right of the unions to under-invest in their teams and pathways knowing they have to play England and France on a regular basis?’

“Then my reply can be no. As a Welsh woman, now we have to maintain taking part in the finest, to measure the place we’re and hold asking questions of and demand extra assist from the Welsh Rugby Union.”

Fiona Coghlan: “If you ask any participant, they’ll wish to problem themselves towards the finest to see the place they stand.

“It was solely final 12 months that France drew with Scotland and in 2019 France lost 31-12 to Italy.

“On the different aspect of the argument, for followers and the potential new viewers to the sport, we’d like the matches to be aggressive to generate and hold curiosity.”

Scrum Queens writers: “The drawback right here is that the answer now requires the kind of investments that in a post-pandemic world, will probably be very troublesome.

“Financial investment is clearly important, but this is more than just about money. It is about having vision and patience for the women’s game and acknowledging past mistakes – for example once upon a time Wales used to have age-group teams that could beat England, USA and Canada regularly.

“Today it has no age-group construction in any respect.”

Who have been the unexpected stars of the Women’s Six Nations so far?

Scrum Queens writers: Emilie Boulard, Emeline Gros, Eve Higgins

Danielle Waterman: Emilie Boulard, Manuela Furlan

Fiona Coghlan: Emilie Boulard

Gemma Hallett: Hannah Tyrrell, Beibhinn Parsons, and the complete Italian squad (for their first-half efficiency towards England)

Emilie Boulard
Full-back Boulard has scored two tries to date in the match

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