TikTok Women's Six Nations preview as England host Italy, Wales play Scotland and Ireland take on France in round two | The SunApril 7, 2023
ITALY star Silvia Turani is hoping to get her teeth into England’s front row at Northampton this weekend.
But the Azzurri prop admits she still hasn’t got her head around British FOOD.
Turani has made a splash for Exeter Chiefs since joining the Devon club at the start of the season.
It means she is already well-versed in the Roses side that Italy meet at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday.
However, Turani conceded: “The toughest thing for me is the weather here.
“I’m really suffering when it’s cold and raining.
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“And the food as well, because it’s really different from in Italy.
“It all comes with spice and sauce, things that I’m not used to.
“So I end up washing it off the chicken before I can eat it.”
England have been forced into changes after crushing Scotland in their opener, with knee victims lock Poppy Cleall and centre Amber Read joining the injured Emily Scarratt on the missing list, while co-skipper Sarah Hunter has now retired.
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The Red Roses, with second row Delany Burns making her debut, will still be heavy favourites as they seek to retain the crown they have won for the past four seasons.
SUNDAES FOR SATURDAYS
WALES skipper Hannah Jones has swapped sundaes for Saturdays – and wants to scoop up TikTok Women’s Six Nations success.
Centre Jones began this year’s tournament by barrelling over for Wales’ fourth try in the 31-5 opening weekend crushing of Ireland.
It was Wales’ first outing since Jones and her team-mates agreed their full-time deals, a major move into the future of the women’s game.
And for the 26-year-old Jones, who previously funded her rugby career by working for the Carmarthenshire-based ice cream company run by her fiance – former Italy under-20 prop Dino Dallavalle – the on-pitch rewards are already becoming clear.
Jones, who became engaged when Dino went down on bended knee on the Cardiff Arms Park pitch after a game with Canada in 2021, said: “I had numerous jobs, anything I could fit around playing international rugby.
“Working in my partner’s ice cream parlour, teaching, anything really that I could fit round my international career.
“When we were first told by the Welsh RU that we could get contracts we weren’t sure if it would happen.
“But a week later the contracts were there in front of us. It was exciting.
“The girls shifted a lot around their work and a lot of the employers have been really supportive and giving sabbatical years out to see how it goes and if they enjoy professional life.
“Of course it might not be for everyone. We have 25 on a full-time contract and the rest are part-time because they still want to work.
“But it brings more intensity and desire, 100 per cent.
“This has always been an aspiration and a dream and so as soon as I could do it I’ve never looked back.
“It’s that winning mentality as well.
“Time is the biggest thing I’ve found. It's not rushing from my other job to come and play and train.
“You wake up and you’re a rugby player.
“It means you have time to eat, to recover, to pick up those conversations with your coaches when before you’d have had to leave them to go back home and think about work. That time is a massive element.”
Wales have had the time after the Ireland win to concentrate on this week’s task against Scotland at Edinburgh’s Dam Health Stadium.
It was a big step towards Wales’ ambition for this season.
Jones added: “We’ve already seen our squad improving.
“In terms of body fat the nutritionists told us we lost between us the body fat of a baby hippo and gained the muscle mass of a baby bear.
“Things like that are really good and you can see it transforming to our games, with the time we have to work on nutrition. You can see that having an effect.
“The main aim of the competition is to give performances and be better than last year. France and England are great teams, the top two. Hopefully we can close the gap.”
IRELAND women’s coach Greg McWilliams is adamant his inexperienced side will be up to the task when they welcome France to Cork this weekend.
An opening 31-5 defeat to Wales saw Ireland make the worst possible start to the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.
They now welcome France, the world’s number three side, with their sevens superstars away in Hong Kong chasing Olympic qualification.
That leaves a backline with a combined 32 caps, with teenager Dannah O’Brien earning her first start at fly-half while Vicky Irwin replaces the injured Enya Breen in the centres, however McWilliams has backed his callow team to step up against a French team who battled to victory in difficult conditions in Italy last week.
He said: “These are the right players, right now. They’re available, they’re ready to go, they’re talented, they’re hard-working. You’ve got a group of young Irish women who have been brave this week in terms of looking inside themselves as individuals and as a group.
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“It was a harsh lesson last week. It was a difficult time but their response is what you want to see from a group of Irish women who’re ready to go out and represent their country.”
For all the latest TikTok Women’s Six Nations news, information, and details on how to watch the Championship, visit: https://womens.sixnationsrugby.com/
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