Under-18 Six Nations Festival: Women’s preview

Building on a successful inaugural competition in 2022, the Six Nations Under-18 Women’s Festival is set for a thrilling renewal in the coming days.

Building on a successful inaugural competition in 2022, the Six Nations Under-18 Women’s Festival is set for a thrilling renewal in the coming days.

This year’s competition will be staged at Wellington College across three matchdays on April 7, 11 and 15.

The event will continue to provide a crucial step in strengthening the foundations for future generations as well as giving fans the chance to see the future stars of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations in action.


To promote an appropriate and competitive playing environment, teams will each play four 35-minute fixtures across the first two match days followed by one full 70-minute fixture on the final match day.

This format allows each team to play one another, every player to start at least one fixture and each Union to benchmark the progress of their female athletes across the competitive spectrum.

The 70-minute matches on Matchday 3 begin with Italy against Scotland, before Ireland take on Wales. The day concludes with England’s clash against France.

The commitment from Six Nations Rugby to support the development of women’s rugby includes the next generation of coaches and match officials.

As part of the Under-18 Women’s Festival week, there will be a two-day coaching conference, with match officials and coaches in attendance from all six unions and federations, which will also see match officials from the six Unions officiating at the festival.

A programme of development opportunities will be available during the men’s Under-18 festivals, for coaches, analysts and match officials, to nurture the growth of this area of the game.


Last year’s competition saw Wales and France shine, with both retaining unbeaten records throughout.

France were particularly impressive on the last weekend, beating England 72-10 in one of three 70-minute matches, while Wales concluded their successful campaign with a 17-10 win over Ireland.

England came out on top against Wales when the sides met a month ago, however, winning 48-5, while Scotland’s players warmed up with January’s Girls’ Regional Game Series, where players were split into five regions and played each other weekly.


Every game will be live streamed across both festivals, and fans will be able to follow all the action across our Six Nations Rugby channels, offering commentary in English, French and Italian.

Spectators will also be able to attend the matchdays at both Wellington College and Energia Park, with free entry for fans at the former.


Scotland head coach Duncan Harrison: “The Under-18 Six Nations will also provide a meaningful playing opportunity for every member of the squad, to allow them to experience the performance game, and to develop and thrive in it.

“We learned a huge amount from the first year of the festival last year, and I think we’re in a stronger position now as well.

“It’s great to go into the Six Nations with a really solid squad. We’ll look to play positively, and hopefully positive results will come from that.”

Wales head coach Catrina Nicholas-McLaughlin: “The second year of the festival will allow us to see the growth and how the addition of a pathway is feeding into the senior game.

“Within Wales, we have seen growth within our regional programme from last year to this year and now we are expecting an increase again.

“It just goes to show that having a platform such as the Six Nations Under-18s Festival really does

encourage girls to take up the sport and result in huge growth within the game.

“It just allows us to see where we are in terms of progression.”

England head coach James Cooper: “Our squad has a mix of experienced and emerging players.

“What’s been really encouraging is seeing the benefit of the Centres of Excellence and other environments of player identification and development.

“There are a few great examples in this squad of young women only recently forcing their way into contention through these avenues, or who were selected in previous England camps but were released, went away and worked on their game at their CoE, only to earn selection for the Six Nations.”