World record crowd provides fitting end to historic Women's Six Nations
England clinched their 12th Grand Slam of the Women’s Six Nations era with a 38-33 victory over France in front of a record-breaking crowd at Twickenham.
The Championship’s top two thrashed it out at the home of English rugby with over 56,000 people in attendance – a fitting end to a Championship which saw records tumble from beginning to end.
Simon Middleton’s side finished top of the class in what was his final campaign in charge of the relentless Red Roses, but every team had something to cheer about over the course of the Championship.
As the smoke begins to clear, let’s take a look at some of the best stats from a memorable five weeks.
58,498 – England’s day of joy
Where else to start but that Twickenham attendance.
The highest crowd for a women’s international fixture prior to Saturday’s match was 42,759, set at Eden Park for the Rugby World Cup final last year, but that total was smashed in the south-west London sunshine.
The Grand Slam decider lived up its billing too with England running wild in the first half before France fought back with pride and passion in abundance during the second period.
There were record crowds elsewhere too. Over 4,000 people took to the DAM Health Stadium to watch the Championship finale as Scotland beat Ireland, while Wales also soared to new heights, with 8,862 supporters attending their Round 3 clash with England.
7 – Packer punch
Even in her wildest dreams Marlie Packer could not have expected such a momentous climax to the Championship.
England’s captain led out her side holding hands with her son, Oliver, and went on to lift the new Championship trophy having also been crowned the Championship’s top try-scorer.
Packer scored seven tries as England ran in 45 across their five fixtures, equalling their previous Six Nations best.
Although head coach Simon Middleton was overseeing his final campaign in charge, he ushered in a new, more expansive playing style and the Red Roses showed no signs that they were struggling to adapt.
Try-machine Abby Dow, who was narrowly pipped to the top try-scorer award by Packer, made a whopping 720 metres across the Championship, while prop Sarah Bern made 428 - showcasing the attacking threats England possess across the park.
The sun may have set on Middleton’s tenure, but one of the women’s games' great pioneers leaves behind an enduring legacy which extends far beyond his tally of six Six Nations titles.
4 – Callender sets the tone
The action began back on the final weekend of March at a sun-kissed Cardiff Arms Park where Wales started a pleasing campaign with a statement win over Ireland.
It took just four minutes for flanker Alex Callender to notch the first score of the competition, going over from the back of a lineout drive – a weapon which Wales utilised to great effect time and time again across the Championship.
Wales’ forwards were particularly dominant in games against Ireland and Italy and the front row of Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones and Sisilia Tuipulotu impressed hugely in their first TikTok Women’s Six Nations as a trio.
116 – Barattin departs
This year’s Championship saw a host of new stars emerge but there were also a few emotional farewells.
One of the Championship’s favourite daughters, scrum-half Sara Barattin said goodbye to the Test arena after Italy’s defeat against Wales in Parma.
Barattin, who made 116 caps in a 17-year international career, was the first Italian woman centurion and skippered Le Azzurre during three Six Nations campaigns.
Jessy Tremouliere also made her final appearance in Round 5, as France came up just short at Twickenham.
The fly-half may have finished on the losing side but she did surpass Estelle Sartini’s record for most points scored by a French player in the Women's Championship, finishing on 285 points.
And who could forget Sarah Hunter’s swansong, with England’s former skipper winning her 141st and final cap in her hometown when the champions beat Scotland in Newcastle in Round 1.
2.2 million – TikTok lovin!
It was a Championship like no other and fans of all nations certainly enjoyed following all the drama, behind the scenes bits and decisive moments over on TikTok.
The @womenssixnations TikTok page surpassed 2.2 million likes during the Championship, with this preview of the Grand Slam decider gaining a mammoth 6.2 million views.
The end of the on-field action does not spell the end for TikTok content, so drop the page a follow to stay up to date on all the post-Championship festivities.
For all the latest TikTok Women’s Six Nations news, information, and details on how to watch the Championship, visit: https://womens.sixnationsrugby.com/