All you need to know ahead of Super Saturday

Here we are then, Super Saturday with Wales aiming for a Grand Slam and their main title rivals, France, trying to stop them.

Here we are then, Super Saturday with Wales aiming for a Grand Slam and their main title rivals, France, trying to stop them.

Wayne Pivac’s team have built momentum throughout the Championship, but now face the tallest of tasks, winning on the road in Paris to clinch the Grand Slam.

You have to go back to 1971 for the last time they completed a clean sweep away from Cardiff, coincidentally doing so in Colombes against France that year, and in the 2021 version of Les Bleus, they face the only team who can deny them the title.

Fabien Galthié’s men, beaten at the last by England last weekend, know that they will need to bounce back on Saturday to keep their Championship ambitions alive ahead of their rearranged meeting with Scotland.

The Scots, meanwhile, open up Super Saturday in Edinburgh looking to bounce back from successive home defeats, by a combined five points.

They welcome an Italian side desperate to finish their campaign on a high at the setting of their first away victory in the Championship.

Attention will then turn to Dublin where CJ Stander will have his Championship swansong against an England team back on form after victory over France.

That has all the makings of a thriller before the pièce de résistance at the Stade de France on Saturday evening.



Scotland will have some regrets over both of their home defeats so far, losing to Wales by two points before Johnny Sexton’s late penalty denied them last time out.

Against Italy they will be aiming for redemption and will do so with a much-changed side, most notably with Stuart Hogg starting at fly-half for the first time at Test level in the absence of Finn Russell.

He has a new half-back partner in Scott Steele, while there are injuries in the second row meaning starts for alliterative duo Sam Skinner and Grant Gilchrist.

Elsewhere Huw Jones is rewarded for his try-scoring effort against Ireland with a start, while Darcy Graham comes into the back three and Dave Cherry and Zander Fagerson slot into the front row.

Italy have made a number of changes of their own with full-back Edoardo Padovani promoted to the starting side after impressing off the bench last time out.

Federico Mori makes his first Test start in the No.12 jersey, while Marco Riccioni and Federico Ruzza will bolster the pack.

On the bench Riccardo Favretto could make his Test debut while Marco Zanon returns to the matchday 23.

Scotland: 15. Sean Maitland, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Stuart Hogg (c), 9. Scott Steele; 1. Rory Sutherland, 2. Dave Cherry, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Sam Skinner, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Matt Fagerson Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Alex Craig, 20. Nick Haining, 21. Ali Price, 22. Jaco van der Walt, 23. Chris Harris

Italy: 15. Edoardo Padovani, 14. Mattia Bellini, 13. Juan Ignacio Brex, 12. Federico Mori, 11. Montanna Ioane, 10. Paolo Garbisi, 9. Stephen Varney, 1. Danilo Fischetti, 2. Luca Bigi (c), 3. Marco Riccioni, 4. Niccolò Cannone, 5. Federico Ruzza, 6. Sebastian Negri, 7. Johan Meyer, 8. Michele Lamaro Replacements: 16. Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17. Andrea Lovotti, 18. Giosuè Zilocchi, 19. Riccardo Favretto, 20. Maxime Mbandà, 21. Marcello Violi, 22. Carlo Canna, 23. Marco Zanon


England have had the better of their recent meetings with Ireland, and Eddie Jones has stuck to the tried and tested for the trip to Dublin with just one injury-enforced change.

Henry Slade’s injury means that Elliot Daly gets his first start at outside centre since 2016 but otherwise it’s the same team that finished strongly to beat France.

Joe Marchant, called in when Slade’s involvement became a doubt, slots straight onto the bench.

Ireland, meanwhile, have made more widespread changes in what will be CJ Stander’s final Championship appearance, with the back-rower set to retire at the end of the season.

He shifts to flanker as Tadhg Beirne moves into the second row in place of the injured James Ryan. In fact it’s a completely different back row as Jack Conan starts at No.8 and Josh van der Flier comes in for the injured Will Connors.

Elsewhere Dave Kilcoyne gets his chance to start at loosehead and his Munster teammate Conor Murray is back into the starting line-up alongside Johnny Sexton in the half-backs.

In the three-quarters, Garry Ringrose’s injury means a start for Bundee Aki as Robbie Henshaw moves out one, while Jacob Stockdale makes his first start of the Championship on the left wing.

Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Keith Earls, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Jacob Stockdale, 10. Jonathan Sexton, 9. Conor Murray, 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Iain Henderson, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. CJ Stander, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Jack Conan Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Andrew Porter, 19. Ryan Baird, 20. Peter O’Mahony, 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Jordan Larmour

England: 15. Max Malins, 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Elliot Daly, 12. Owen Farrell, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs, 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Charlie Ewels, 6. Mark Wilson, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Billy Vunipola Replacements: 16. Jamie George, 17. Ellis Genge, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Jonny Hill, 20. Ben Earl, 21. Dan Robson, 22. Ollie Lawrence, 23. Joe Marchant.


A second Grand Slam in three years, a fifth since 2005, that is what is on the line for Wales in Paris on Saturday night.

It is a curious quirk that each of the previous four have ended with a Cardiff crescendo while this will be in front of an empty Stade de France.

Wayne Pivac has made just one change to his team, with Adam Beard back in the second row as Cory Hill drops to the bench.

There are three further changes among the replacements where Nicky Smith, James Botham and Tomos Williams all come into the 23.

France still have Championship ambitions over their own, with the requirements laid out in our permutations piece.

Fabien Galthié has named an unchanged starting side for Saturday with Matthieu Jalibert continuing at fly-half.

There are three changes on the bench though as Uini Atonio, Swan Rebbadj and Arthur Vincent all come into the 23.

France: 15. Brice Dulin, 14. Teddy Thomas, 13. Virimi Vakatawa, 12. Gaël Fickou, 11. Damian Penaud, 10. Matthieu Jalibert, 9. Antoine Dupont, 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Julien Marchand, 3. Mohamed Haouas, 4. Romain Taofifenua, 5. Paul Willemse, 6. Dylan Cretin, 7. Charles Ollivon, 8. Grégory Alldritt Replacements: 16. Camille Chat, 17. Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18. Uini Atonio, 19. Swan Rebbadj, 20. Anthony Jelonch, 21. Baptiste Serin, 22. Romain Ntamack, 23. Arthur Vincent

Wales: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. George North, 12. Jonathan Davies, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Gareth Davies, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Josh Navidi, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau. Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Nicky Smith, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Cory Hill, 20. James Botham, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Willis Halaholo