Manae Feleu, Marlie Packer, Hannah Jones… The five players to watch during the Tournament

The Women’s Six Nations Tournament begins on Saturday for Les Bleues, with the reception of Ireland at Le Mans. Led by its young captain Manae Feleu, the XV of France will seek to put an end to English hegemony.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial


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Marlie Packer (England), Manaé Feleu (France) and Hannah Jones (Wales), will be three of the girls who will host this 2024 edition of the Six Nations Tournament.  (BLAKE ARMSTRONG / MICHAEL BRADLEY / DEREK MORRISON / AFP)

Will the Blues finally bring down the XV de la Rose? Before the start of the 2024 Six Nations Tournament, Saturday March 23, the English, five-time reigning champions, remain on a clear victory during the 2023 edition, with an average of 54 points scored per match. If the latter still have a workforce of an exceptional level, the Blue have the assets to put an end to this hegemony. Focus on the five players to follow during this 2024 Tournament.

Manae Feleu (France), extended captain

Already captain of the French XV last October during the WXV, a new tournament organized in New Zealand, the young Grenobloise (24 years old) was reappointed to her position and will have the difficult task of leading the Blues during the Six Nations Tournament. Originally from Wallis and Futuna, the second row had a very good campaign during this new competition, notably winning a benchmark match against the Blacks Ferns (18-17).

With this armband, Manae Feleu will try not to follow the same path as the previous captain, Audrey Forlani, who was not selected in the second row. An astonishing transfer of power, knowing that the Blue coaches Gaëlle Mignot and David Ortiz had announced that they wanted to rotate the captaincy before the New Zealand tour of the XV of France.

Lina Queyroi (France), metronome of Les Bleues

Today, we have no problem with giving her responsibilities, she is also the boss at her club and she stands out in the championship. We want to have girls in the group who dare, who try, who are carefree, and I think Lina ticks all these boxes“, declared Gaëlle Mignot about Lina Queyroi this Thursday during the press conference before the match against Ireland. This shows the confidence that the young Blagnac fly-half has gained from the staff.

Hampered by injuries during the World Cup in New Zealand then during the 2023 Tournament, the 22-year-old player finally asserts herself as a starter for the French XV after a WXV which she played as a starter . Against Ireland, she will have control over the French offensive game, and will have to prove that her starting at the opening is not a default choice due to Caroline Drouin’s injury, but rather a promise for the future.

Marlie Packer (England), centenary captain

The first match of the Tournament will be special for Marlie Packer. The historic captain of the XV de la Rose will celebrate her hundredth cap in the English jersey, becoming the sixth most capped player in English history. With 43 tries for selection, the Saracens third row is also the second highest active scorer after center Emily Scarratt.

At 34, the best player in the world in 2023 has already won everything with the XV de la Rose. World champion in 2014, quadruple winner of the Six Nations Tournament, she won the first edition of the WXV in New Zealand last October, her second major trophy as captain of England after the 2023 Tournament. year, she is seeking a fifth success, which would be the sixth consecutive for the English in the competition, a record in this area.

Emily Scarratt (England), the ghost

Heroine of the English world title in 2014, the three-quarter center of the XV de la Rose Emily Scarrat has come a long way. Unbreakable whether at club at Loughborough or in the selection, the 34-year-old player was sidelined for 13 months, after a neck operation at the start of 2023. Returning to the club in February, she made part of the English group which will try to defend its Grand Slam acquired last year.

If Emily Scarratt so quickly regained her place in the English selection, it is in particular thanks to her exceptional finishing ability. From the top of her 108 caps, the Leicester native has scored 53 tries and is only eight goals behind the record held by winger Sue Day. A regular scorer, she already easily holds the record for points scored (749) in the English jersey. During the last Tournament in which she took part, in 2022, she scored two tries during the very large successes against Italy (74-0) and Wales (58-5).

Hannah Jones (Wales), the icon

If the Tournament has been decided every year for four years between France and England, Wales intends to play spoilsport this year. Already because the Welsh team is gaining momentum, with two third places won in the last two editions, and especially because the Leek XV now counts on very high level players, starting with Hannah Jones. The Welsh captain with 52 caps has just been crowned English champion for the first time in her career with Gloucester, where she has played since the start of her career in 2015.

The stakes will be double for her, because Wales could ensure their direct qualification for the 2025 World Cup in England. To do this, the Welsh must beat Scotland, Ireland and Italy, which would represent a third consecutive podium, a first for the Leek XV since 2009. A capital mission for one of the greatest rugby icons Welsh women’s team, and who was one of the country’s first professional players in 2022.

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