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Aillis Egan - Ireland

As the third week of the Six Nations Women’s Championship approaches, two dynamic narratives wait to be written. The first is whether Wales 2-0 can continue winning against one of the pre-season favorites, France, also 2-0. Les Bleues were 2014’s victors, and pack an experienced team.

Admittedly, Wales’ upset against England in the opener (13-0) was marked by the Red Roses sending 12-players to compete in the Brazil Sevens, the Olympic qualification considered more important to England than a Six Nations victory. After winning last summer’s WRWC, the English women cannot be faulted for a chance to be in the 2016 Olympics.

For France, the Six Nation’s title last year spurred on hopes of a summer WRWC final against reigning champion, the undefeated for a long time Black Ferns from New Zealand. Three unexpected outcomes changed the year-long French wish for that showdown final. Ireland beat the Black Ferns in pool play, clearly, the Men’s and Women’s Test Match upset of 2014. England and Canada tied, with both advancing into the semis, eliminating New Zealand on points. And, finally, Canada, and the great Magali Harvey, beat France in the semis, relegating Les Bleues to a third place finish with a victory over Ireland.

The second game of importance features Ireland against England. Both squads are 1-1, and need this victory to stand a chance against France, which defeated the Irish last week. For England, it’s do or die with a loss all but eliminating their title shot even with the game against France still to come.

Finally, perennial bottom dwellers, Scotland and Italy, will compete at 0-2, and one team will enjoy its first and only win of the season. This game is on Sunday, while the other two will occur Friday.