The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Ireland’s win is even more impressive when you consider that the highest they’ve ever finished in the table is third and now just Italy stand in the way of a clean sweep and a Grand Slam.
It’s worth picking out some of the stars of Ireland’s campaign, and some names that will also be likely to play a big role in the Irish bid for the Rugby Sevens World Cup later this year.
Out wide Alison Miller has had a fantastic 6 Nations, proving to be a deadly finisher with a real eye for the try-line. As one of the newer faces in the squad, she’s one we’ll surely be hearing much more about in the years ahead.
Another player worth mentioning is stalwart Lynne Cantwell. Ireland’s most capped player, Cantwell has once again had a superb tournament in the centre in the green shirt and years of travelling back and forth from London, where she is based, will all pay off when she gets her hand on the title next weekend.
Her centre partner Jen Murphy is another to have hugely impressed, having taken the game of rugby up just three years ago, and she will be a real force on the Sevens circuit in the coming months.
Elsewhere, England will finish second if they can defeat Wales this weekend away from home. It’s been a tough tournament for the defending champions who have blooded a number of youngsters in a campaign where they have been missing up to 17 players who are focusing on Sevens this season in the leadup to the World Cup.
Head coach Gary Street though will certainly be willing to suffer the short term pain of losing their title in return for the long term benefit of having a much more players experienced at international level and a few new faces to look out for include Emily Scott, Amber Reed and Hannah Gallagher who have all shone despite their tender ages and inexperience.
Italy and Wales meanwhile are still battling it out for the last automatic World Cup spot which is guaranteed to England, France and Ireland.
In defeating Scotland last weekend, Wales are favourites to take the spot, as even if they lose against England, Italy will need a huge win over Ireland to make up the points difference.
Wales have unearthed a star in the making in young centre Rebecca de Filippo and she has been a real star in their side.
Scotland are bottom of the table and face a daunting trip to France but they have progressed throughout the tournament and will know that despite their most recent 13-0 loss to Wales, they have come on in bounds from the opening day thrashing against England.
It will not be easy for Karen Findlay’s Scots to progress through a difficult looking European World Cup qualifier in Madrid later this year, but Scotland are heading in the right direction.