2024 Six nations talking points from week one. The opening weekend of the 2024 Six Nations proved to be an exciting start to the competition, with several key talking points emerging. Ireland impressed with a near-perfect performance against France, suggesting that they could be in with a chance of winning back-to-back Grand Slams. Leinster’s Joe McCarthy was a standout player, impressing on his Six Nations debut and earning the player-of-the-match award. His physicality and presence on the pitch could make him an important figure for Ireland in the tournament. Italy also showed improvement, despite a three-point defeat to England, which saw them conceding 22 tries in their final two pool games at the World Cup.
Analysis on France
France, on the other hand, missed superstar Antoine Dupont, who was absent from the Six Nations to pursue his ambition of playing for the France Sevens team at the Olympics. His replacement, Maxime Lucu, struggled to recreate the unpredictability and efficiency that Dupont brings to the team, and France suffered a defeat against Ireland.
England’s new defensive system, led by Irishman Felix Jones, showed promise but will take time to become instinctive for the players. Italy exposed some weaknesses in the system, scoring three tries, so England will need to tighten up when they host Wales on Saturday. Wales, meanwhile, demonstrated an ability to exploit the wide channels with their young and fearless squad, who almost staged a stunning comeback against Scotland.
Scotland’s Finn Russell was a standout player, producing two try assists and a faultless display off the tee. However, Scotland’s discipline let them down in the second half, as they gave away 14 consecutive penalties compared to Wales’s four. Gregor Townsend’s side will look to improve their discipline when they face France on Saturday.
Overall, the opening weekend had everything from record victories to thrilling comebacks, setting the stage for an exciting and unpredictable Six Nations tournament.