The Women’s Six Nations 2022 returns on Friday and results in Europe will have an impact on the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini as well as the Championship standings.
Following a rest week, round four gets underway in Cardiff on Friday when France put their Grand Slam hopes on the line against Wales.
Italy then welcome Scotland to Parma on Saturday before the weekend’s action concludes in Leicester on Sunday as England take on Ireland.
🏉 The TikTok Women’s Six Nations is showing no signs of slowing down. Bring on the weekend for round 4! pic.twitter.com/wOThxVhol3— TikTok Women's Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) April 19, 2022
England and France are the only unbeaten sides heading into round four and both are heavily fancied to win their respective matches and set up a Grand Slam decider in Bayonne on 30 April.
Neither side can improve on their rating points with victory this weekend due to the points difference between them and their opponents.
Les Bleues will hope to emerge from Cardiff Arms Park unscathed on Friday but if they do slip up then they would fall below Canada to fourth in the rankings.
Wales have beaten France only four times in 27 previous meetings, and not since 2016, but know a fifth victory against Les Bleues could lift them as high as sixth on Monday.
For that to happen, they would need to win by more than 15 points and hope other results on the weekend go their way.
Should Wales win by a smaller margin at the Arms Park then Ioan Cunningham’s side could climb to eighth, but it would depend on Saturday’s result in Parma.
Italy face Scotland at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in the second match of round four and have not lost at home to their visitors since 1999.
The hosts won the teams’ last Women’s Six Nations fixture in Italy 38-0 in 2018, but with the Azzurre only able to gain a maximum of 0.69 rating points in victory and Ireland losing nothing if beaten, they cannot improve on eighth place this weekend.
However, should the Azzurre and Wales both win within the same margin then Italy would drop one place even in victory.
Scotland, meanwhile, could drop out of the top 10 if they lose more than 15 points, with Spain the beneficiaries.
Round four concludes at Welford Road in Leicester, where the Red Roses are set to welcome a record crowd for a women’s test in England for the second round running.
Having welcomed 14,689 fans to Kingsholm for the victory against Wales on 9 April, ticket sales for Sunday’s match are on course to beat that and possibly even set a new world record for a women’s test match.
The majority of those arriving in Leicester will hope England can extend their current 21-match winning run and secure an eighth successive victory against Ireland.
Ireland have never beaten England away from home in 16 previous attempts, but if they break that duck this Sunday they could climb as high as fifth in the rankings, depending on the margin of victory.