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The new French rugby word for today is “Chelem” that might be clearer in its English meaning if written “Le Grand Chelem.” It means Grand Slam, which is what the French Women achieved in 2018’s NatWest Six Nations Championship, going undefeated in the five-match series.
For all intents and purposes, Les Bleues claimed the title after defeating England at home 18-17 in the fourth round of play. This left only the final game against Wales in the French path for the title and “Le Grand Chelem.” The French XV disposed of Wales easily 38-3 to claim the official championship. England beat Ireland to finish second at 4-1.
The French were outstanding in defense, ceding just 23-points in the five matches, England’s 17-point total the only occasion over ten points. There were two shutouts along the way.
The French winning route in 2018:
- 24-0 Ireland
- 26-3 Scotland
- 57-0 Italy
- 18-17 England
- 38-3 Wales
England, the number two ranked team behind New Zealand, won this tournament last year (A Grand Slam then) but do not dominate the event as they previously did in the past owing to the improvement of France and Ireland.
Finally, the France v England match attracted near 18,000 in attendance at Grenoble, a new Women’s Six Nations record and evidence of the popularity of Women's rugby in France.