Six Nations Opening Weekend Review
The Six Nations is well and truly underway, with a mixed start for the home nations.
Wales made an emphatic statement in their defence of their Six Nations and Grand Slam titles, overcoming Italy by 42-0.
An impressive first venture in the competition for new head coach, Wayne Pivac, with the help of a quality performance by Josh Adams.
The wing scored a superb hat-trick, which included two in the space of 12 first-half minutes whilst Saracens centre Nick Tompkins scored a spectacular solo try on his Test debut.
However, the shock of the weekend took place at the Stade de France, as 2019 Rugby World Cup finalists England fell to the sword of France by 24-17.
It was a winning start for Les Bleus’ new defensive coach, Shaun Edwards, and a dominant performance by Charles Ollivon.
The all-action flanker scored two fantastic tries as France edged ahead, the first time a Six Nations captain had scored that many since Gareth Thomas against Scotland in 2006.
Edwards, who worked alongside former Wales head coach Warren Gatland during a successful 12-year-spell, helped the hosts keep England from scoring in the opening half – the first time that has happened since 1988.
England must now look ahead to Saturday’s trip to Scotland, who lost to an unconvincing Ireland team by 19-12.
Under the reign of new coach Andy Farrell, Ireland were forced to rely on new captain Johnny Sexton who scored every point, including a first half try as the Irish pushed aside a wasteful Scotland.
A Scottish team that was without star fly-half Finn Russell, who exited the camp following a breach in team protocol.
Ireland will now begin preparations ahead of a tough test as they play host to the reigning Six Nations champions, Wales, on Saturday afternoon.