The Six Nations of Women 2022: What England should do to be ahead in the World Cup

The review began quickly.

The Red Roses lost only a few minutes to their hosts but then powered ahead to their fourth Six Nations title, further cementing their place in the top world rankings.

Hunter is a strong leader, but the rest of the squad shares Hunter's drive to improve.

France and New Zealand hosts are expected to bounce back at the World Cup. What can England do for a better future?

Reach the wings

The 2021 Six Nations final saw France's forwards dominate and England only manage a 10-6 victory.

Louis Deacon, an ex-lock for England and Leicester, joined the forwards coaching team and has helped turn things around.

As the Red Roses' rolling moul was responsible to all three of their tries, which led them to victory Saturday 24-12

England players will return to their clubs after the completion of the Premier15s season. They will then gather again in July to begin warm-up fixtures before October's World Cup.

After the set-piece is sorted, the next thing on their agenda may be how to make more space for England's wings so they can get on the ball.

Simon Middleton is a head coach with depth at nearly every position, but he is still exploring his starting full-back.

Abby Dow passed before the test breaking her leg against WalesHelena Rowland, the latest to take over for Helena Rowland, has suffered an injury that could prevent her from participating in the World Cup.

Rowland is a fly-half and centre, but he showed incredible counter-attack at 15, in England's two Six Nations games.

Middleton wants the rest of his back to shine. Jess Breach & Lydia Thompson are kept quiet in Bayonne.

He said, “We probably didn’t allow ourselves to play as much.”

“We must find a way that allows the girls to have more fun. There are some great players out there who just couldn't get on the ball.

Women's Six Nations final standings
England scored 45 tries, and only conceded four in a brilliant campaign

Stay strong

England's next match will give them the chance to immortality.

They could win their 24th consecutive victory, which would be an unprecedented feat for any team in the top tier.

Since July 2019, the Red Roses have never lost and are especially dominant in this year’s Six Nations.

They won the France game by less than 50 points. Their final score of 282 in five games is a record number for points in Women's Six Nations.

It will now be a challenge to hold on to their control until the World Cup final on December 12.

“The frightening thing is that we don't even believe we've played that well in this tournament,” Natasha Hunt, scrum-half, told BBC Sport.

“We think there's still so much to be done. It's amazing to feel like the target on your back. You know that people are after you and fear you a lot.

Choose a side

England's Rugby Football Union is leading the charge in investing in its women's side.

Other unions are beginning to catch up. Wales has handed 12 professional contracts for first time since the Six Nations.

Most of England's players have been professionally trained since 2019, two years after RFU created the Premier15s league to help player development.

All that investment has paid dividends and Middleton boasted that he had enough talent at the Six Nations to create two equally-strong starting Vs.

Middleton said Saturday's win was the best England team that he has ever coached. The next challenge will be to decide which player makes it to New Zealand.

The World Cup organizers have yet to announce how large the squads will be. However, Covid-19 levels in the host country are a deciding factor. It is unlikely that they will be more than 36 players.

This leaves Middleton, his staff, and their thoughts free for thought. Scott Bemand, backs coach of England's team, said that conversations would continue even though England celebrated Saturday night's win.

He stated, “We love the discussion about it and the girl have made those conversations harder and harder,” BBC Radio 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekly.

“We are not anywhere near where we think this group can go, but it is exciting.”

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