Teams shape up for 6 Nations

The women’s Six Nations kicks off next weekend. We take a look at the squads and news announced so far.

Published by Ali Donnelly, March 12, 2024

9 minute read

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Teams shape up for 6 Nations

The women’s Six Nations kicks off next weekend. We take a look at the squads and news announced so far.

This year’s competition is a crucial qualifying path for the World Cup for several teams, while it will also determine who plays in some of the WXV tiers later in the year.


Though John Mitchell was technically on board for some of last year’s WXV, which England won comfortably, this is his first-time taking charge for an entire competition. He has kept Marlie Packer as captain, with the Saracens player also due to win her 100th cap in her next outing.

Emily Scarratt is back after her long stint out injured while England are also boosted by the return of Zoe Harrison. England’s strength in depth is fabled, and with over 1,100 caps in their wider squad, even with a trip to France to come, they are clear favourites to win their seventh title in a row.

England squad:

Forwards: Zoe Aldcroft,  Lark Atkin-Davies, Sarah Beckett, Hannah Botterman, Mackenzie Carson, Poppy Cleall, Kelsey Clifford, Amy Cokayne, Maddie Feaunati, Rosie Galligan, Lizzie Hanlon, Sadia Kabeya, Alex Matthews, Maud Muir, Cath O’Donnell, Marlie Packer, Connie Powell, Morwenna Talling, Abbie Ward

Backs: Holly Aitchison, Sophie Bridger, Jess Breach, Abby Dow, Sydney Gregson, Zoe Harrison Heard, Natasha Hunt, Megan Jones, Ellie Kildunne, Vicky Laflin, Lucy Packer, Helena Rowlan, Emily Scarratt, Emma Sing, Ella Wyrwas.


Without a Six Nations title since 2018, France go into this year’s competition after a mixed WXV campaign last year, which began with a fantastic win over New Zealand and them whimpered out with two losses.

On paper they are a match for anyone, and they do host England in what is so often the deciding game of this event, so if ever there was a year to break their duck this is surely it,

Under Gaelle Mignot and David Ortiz though, they have yet to find the consistency to tell us how the team really is shaping up for the long term.

Having led the team at WXV, Manae Feleu keeps the captaincy of the squad, where she is joined by her sister Teani, while there’s also a return for powerhouse prop Rose Bernadou.

France squad

Forwards: Rose Bernadou, Axelle Berthoumieu, Manon Bigot, Lea Champon, Anaelle Deshaye, Charlotte Escudero, Madaussou Fall, Manae Feleu, Teani Feleu, Emeline Gros, Gaelle Hermet, Clara Joyeux, Assia Khalfaoui, Romane Menager, Ambre Mwayembe, Elisa Riffonneau, Agathe Sochat, Chloe Vauclin, Kiara Zago

Backs:Cyrielle Banet, Oceane Bordes, Emilie Boulard, Pauline Bourdon Sansus, Morgane Bourgeois, Alexandra Chambon, Caroline Drouin, Nassira Konde, Marine Menager, Lina Qeuyroi, Suiliana Sivi, Lina Tuy, Gabrielle Vernier


Italy were close to becoming WXV2 champions in the Autumn, only missing out on points difference to Scotland, after wins over USA, Japan and South Africa.

Those wins will have given the squad confidence, on the back of news that the Italian federation is improving contract offers to senior players, with 24 deals confirmed this week.

After some negative murmurings about the support they were willing to offer their leading players, this may have the desired affect on performance, though they kick off with their toughest opponents in game day one with England arriving.

The team is experienced, with the likes of prop Lucia Gai, who has 95 caps, while 65-times capped back rower Elisa Giordano is captain.

Italy squad:

Forwards: Ilaria Arrighetti, Alice Cassaghi, Giulia Cavina, Giordana Duca, Valeria Fedrighi, Giada Franco, Lucia Gai, Elisa Giordano, Laura Gurioli, Isabella Locatelli, Gaia Maris, Alessia Pilani, Sara Seye, Francesca Sgorbini, Emanuela Stecca, Sara Tounesi, Silvia Turani, Vittoria Vecchini, Beatrice Veronese

Backs: Beatrice Capomaggi, Micol Cavina, Alyssa D’Inca, Francesca Granzotto, Veronica Madia,  Aura Muzzo,  Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, Beatrice Rigoni,  Michela Sillari,  Sofia Stefan, Emma Stevanin


Last year’s Six Nations was arguably seminal for this Scottish team, when first a win over Italy ended a 12 game losing run, and second a finale with a thumping of Ireland in front of a big crowd gave them the confidence they needed to start realising their potential.

Winning WXV2 later in the Autumn offered another real boost of this squad’s credentials and the expansion of the Celtic Challenge competition seems to have gone down well, with good crowds turning out to watch the new women’s franchises in action.

That has partly led to a surge in ticket sales this season, with over 5,00 tickets already sold for their game against England on April 13.

Though without powerhouse Jade Konkel to injury, and featuring some new faces, this is a settled enough Scotland squad to suggest they could do well again this season.

Scotland squad

Forwards: Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle, Sarah Bonar, Elliann Clarke, Lisa Cockburn, Eva Donaldson, Evie Gallagher, Merryn Gunderson, Rachel Malcolm, Elis Martin, Fiona McIntosh, Rachel McLachlan, Louise McMillan, Lana Skeldon, Alex Stewart, Emma Wassell, Molly Wright, Anne Young.

Backs: Cieron Bell, Beth Blacklock, Leia Brebner-Holden, Shona Campbell, Nicole Flynn, Coreen Grant, Caity Mattinson, Mairi McDonald, Francesca McGhie, Rhona Lloyd, Helen Nelson, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Chloe Rollie, Meryl Smith, Meg Varley.


Ireland have moved on from last year’s disastrous campaign, where they finished bottom and were somewhat engulfed in negative coverage surround the environment in which the team was operating.

Winning WXV3 under new head coach Scott Bemand was expected and delivered later in the year, and with three home games in this year’s competition, Ireland will be expecting better this time around.

Bemand has also been given permission to select a handful of players who are likely to be chasing Olympic sevens glory this summer, something not afforded to his predecessor, while good performances in the Celtic Challenge competition has improved competition for places and there are positive noises about improved infrastructure around the set up.

Ireland squad:

Forwards: Claire Boles, Ruth Campbell, Megan Collis Eimear Corri, Sarah Delaney, Linda Djougang, Christy Haney, Brittany Hogan, Shannon Ikahihifo, Neve Jones, Sadhbh McGrath, Edel McMahon,  (Co-Captain); Grace Moore, Sam Monaghan (Co-Captain); Niamh O’Dowd, Andrea Stock, Aoife Wafer, Dorothy Wall

Backs: Natasja Behan, Enya Breen, Katie Corrigan, Aoife Dalton, Méabh Deely, Lauren Delany, Nicole Fowley, Clare Gorman, Katie Heffernan, Eve Higgins, Dannah O’Brien, Béibhinn Parsons, Aoibheann Reilly, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Chisom Ugwueru,  Katie Whelan


Much is expected of Wales, who bring into this season more time under their belts as professional players, and hardened experience of competing in WXV1 after finishing third in last year’s Six Nations.

Hannah Jones has is captain again and leads a fascinating looking squad with some young players who have impressed with Wales U20s and in the new Celtic Challenge tournament.

Also selected is Jenny Hesketh, a former England U20s captain who qualifies to play for Wales through her Welsh mother.

Wales squad:

Forwards: Gwenllian Pyrs, Abbey Constable, Carys Phillips, Kelsey Jones, Molly Reardon, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Donna Rose, Jenni Scoble, Abbie Fleming, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Bryonie King, Shona Wakley, Alisha Butchers, Georgia Evans, Alex Callender, Kate Williams, Bethan Lewis, Gwennan Hopkins

Backs: Jasmine Joyce, Nel Metcalfe, Jenny Hesketh, Courtney Keight, Kayleigh Powell, Cath Richards, Lisa Neumann, Amelia Tutt, Hannah Jones (captain), Kerin Lake, Hannah Bluck, Carys Cox, Lleucu George, Mollie Wilkinson, Niamh Terry, Keira Bevan, Sian Jones, Meg Davies.