"Grand Slam Decider" England and France Set for Explosive 2023 Women's Six Nations Finale - Ruck

“Grand Slam Decider” England and France Set for Explosive 2023 Women’s Six Nations Finale

The 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations will be decided at Twickenham Stadium this weekend, as England and France battle it out, with both sides out to win this year’s Grand Slam. The Red Roses and Les Bleus have taken resounding victories in the previous four rounds, with the stage perfectly set for the finale at the Home of English Rugby.

England Women line up for the national anthem during the TikTok Womens Six Nations match between England Women and Wales Women at Kingsholm Stadium on April 9 2022 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

England and France are set to break the attendance record for a Women’s rugby match, as over 50,000 tickets have already been sold for this year’s curtain calling event. The previous record was 42,579 and took place at last years Rugby World Cup final, as the Black Ferns of New Zealand secured a dramatic late win over England.

If England come away victorious, they will secure their fifth consecutive Women’s Six Nations title. The Red Roses have dominated the competition since 2019, with France last lifting the silverware the year prior, in 2018. England’s record for consecutive Women’s Six Nations titles is seven in a row, and they achieved this incredible feat between 2006 and 2012.


The stage is also set for England Women’s Head Coach Simon Middleton’s final farewell. Middleton has been involved with the Red Roses since 2014, and was the Assistant Coach for their triumphant 2014 Rugby World Cup campaign. ‘Midds’ took the Head Coach reigns the following year, and has gone on to win five Women’s Six Nations titles, including four Grand Slams.

Middleton took England to back-to-back Rugby World Cup Finals as Head Coach, in 2017 and 2022. He was also in charge during the Red Roses record-breaking run of 30 consecutive test match victories. Tomorrow marks the end of an era for England, as Middleton departs alongside long-serving Attack Coach Scott Bemand. Speaking with England Rugby, Middleton said;

Simon Middleton, Head Coach of England Women during the TikTok Womens Six Nations match between England Women and Wales Women at Kingsholm Stadium on April 9 2022 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

“Scott and I both recognise that we’re both coming to the end of a chapter in our lives, but we’re both in agreement that our mindset of going game-to-game, week-to-week and being totally focused on performances is what has contributed to the team being so successful over the years.”

“I’ve been hugely lucky to have been able to do what I have with the players and staff that I work with. I love the Six Nations and I love the team, so when I was asked if I would stay on for the tournament  I didn’t have to think twice about it.”

Marlie Packer of England Women acknowledges the rugby fans after the autumn international match between England Women and New Zealand Women at Sandy Park on 31 Oct 2021. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Looking ahead to the game, Red Roses fans are delighted to see that Captain Marlie Packer and loose-head prop Hannah Botterman, have both been named in the squad despite injury concerns. Packer and Botterman both limped off the pitch in Cork, as they suffered untimely injuries against Ireland in round four. Sarah Bern also returns to the front row, with Lark Davis coming in beside her at hooker.

Outside centre Helena Rowland makes her long awaited return to the Red Roses, with Lagi Tuima dropping out. Middleton discussed the upcoming high-stakes decider, and recognises the efforts of the players who may be missing out, as big names return to the squad.

Try Celebrations for Sarah Bern of England Women as she goes over for a try during the TikTok Womens Six Nations match between England Women and Wales Women at Kingsholm Stadium on April 9 2022 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

“We’re really excited and looking forward to Saturday’s match against France in what will be another landmark moment in the women’s game,” Middleton said to Sky Sports.

“We’ve had some entertaining and tight battles with France over a long period of time and this one will be no different.

“Both teams have had strong Six Nations campaigns off the back of presenting different game plans from what we have seen before.”

England Women head coach Simon Middleton during the England Women Rugby and USA WomenÕs Rugby at Sandy Park on 3 Sept 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK.

“France will also be relishing the challenge and David Ortiz, Gaelle Mignot and their team will have prepared their players well.

“I think it’s only fitting at this point to also recognise and pay tribute to Jessy Tremouliere, one of the greats of the game, as she calls time on her international playing career. She will be missed, for sure.


“Notwithstanding, the players we knew at the start to be unavailable for the tournament, this is the first week in the competition we can say we have a near-full squad to select from.

“Credit must go to our medical and strength and conditioning teams who have worked tirelessly with our players to ensure their availability. At the same time, the return of some of our more established players means that others will inevitably miss out.

Lagi Tuima of Harlequins Women kicks the conversion during the Women’s Allianz Premier 15s match between Exeter Chiefs Women and Harlequins Women at Sandy Park on 16 Jan 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK.

“Whilst I know they will be bitterly disappointed in missing the game, they should take immense pride in their performances throughout the Six Nations in terms of both playing and helping to prepare the side. Once again, this has been a tremendous squad effort and typifies everything good about the Red Roses.

“Playing in front of a record crowd is a huge marker of where the game is at. It’s huge testament to the hard work of many people at the RFU and it bodes extremely well building up to the 2025 World Cup.”