U18 Festival News


U18 women's festival wrap
France remain the team to beat in the Under-18 Six Nations Women’s Festival, with Les Bleuettes’ current crop replicating the achievements of the Class of 2023 in going through the competition undefeated.

Wales hosted the event for the first time, Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm CSM providing the backdrop to a string of thrilling contests across three matchdays on March 29, April 2 and April 6.

France delivered a statement of intent on Matchday 1 by beating Scotland (34-0) and Wales (31-12) in two 35-minute matches, Perrine Fagnen and Anna Daniel each collecting try doubles.

Fagnen crossed again in a 31-5 win over Ireland on Matchday 2, and the French defence came to the fore against Italy as they kept out their opponents in a 16-0 success.

That set up a Matchday 3 clash with another unbeaten side in England, as had been the case 12 months previously. And history repeated itself as Les Bleuettes came out on top, prevailing 46-21 in a 70-minute encounter which saw Fagnen and Aelig Tregouet each score twice.

England had also started strongly, beating Ireland 19-12 in the competition’s opening fixture as Abigail Pritchard’s late try settling a hard-fought clash. England’s never-say-die approach was then illustrated by Isabel van der Straate as she crossed in the dying seconds against Italy to salvage a 19-19 draw.

Matchday 2 saw the Roses roar back with 26 unanswered points after going 14-0 down against Wales before Heidi Pashaei Tarighoun’s double helped inspire a 27-5 win over Scotland.

Scotland ended the competition without a victory but pushed Italy hard in a 12-5 defeat on Matchday 2, which marked Le Azzurrine’s sole success.

Alice Antonazzo scored twice in that victory having also dotted down in the draw against England and the No.8 completed the Matchday set by crossing late to reduce the deficit in their closing 41-22 defeat against Wales, Branwen Metcalfe and Saran Jones scoring two apiece for Wales.

Ireland also finished with a flourish by beating Scotland 48-7, Abby Healy dotting down twice, while she was also on the scoresheet in the 14-5 win over Wales.