Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes looks ahead to the weekend's games, including interviews, features, and the latest news and analysis.
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What an opening week we had two this year's Six Nations tournament.
Scotland stunned Ireland, England's unbeaten run continues, although
they looked more sluggish against France and Wales turned it on in
Rome to beat Italy and top the table. Where else to be than Cardiff
for this week's Inside Six Nations. Look at that, the roof is open here
at the principality Stadium. Good evening from the heart of Cardiff.
In around 22 hours, the Dragons will be roaring as Wales take on England
in what we hope will be another classic encounter. Someone who knows
all about the rivalry between Wales and England is Martyn Williams. Good
evening. We will be getting his wisdom and insight into the action,
but first let's remind ourselves of what happened in week one.
We are underway in the 2017 Six Nations. Two tries for Scotland.
Ireland have hits back. Great from Greig Laidlaw. They have beaten
Ireland. Try is going to be scored. Looking to work it around the
fringes. Over they go. George North sets are. North heads for the posts.
Wales, like England and Scotland are up and running in the Six Nations
championship. We talked about bonus points. Wales
notoriously are slow starters and we saw that in Italy. That bonus point,
I am told by the fans they are not bothered but it could be
significant? It could be. If you had said last Sunday we were going to
beat Italy 33-7, I would have snapped your hand. Potentially that
was a banana skin. The second half performance, I was impressed with
it. If they win every game, it is irrelevant. Who knows what bonus
points will come down to. But I am happy. England's unbeaten run
continues, 15 games but they struggled against France. How much
was it about England needing to improve and how much about France
surprisingly is all and being better? I have been impressed with
France, for the first time they looked organised. England missed
George Kruis in the second row so the line-out dysfunction. I am
expecting a better opening team tomorrow. The first game is
difficult, you are trying to find your feet at international level. I
think England will be happy, they got a lot of rustiness out. Eddie
Jones is doing his best to upset the entire Welsh nation. Some of his
comments in the newspapers! The roof has been a talking point. He alluded
to the fact he was going to keep it shut, which wales wanted. But out it
is open. Why do Wales want the roof closed so much? I think the
atmosphere goes up ten or 15% when it is shut. But Wales England, it
will be red hot in here. It won't make much difference. If it is
raining, you obviously want the roof shut, but it is a fine day tomorrow.
From the large point of view, maybe it does give us an edge but if the
shoe was on the other foot, he would leave it open as well if he was
going to Twickenham. It is something for the media and Eddie has played
it well. Wales' strength is England's weakness. Sam Warburton is
strong. We have been catching up with him? Yes, we walked his dog.
I look back now and I found it hard at times, the captaincy, but as I
look back over the last few years, I am pleased I have done it. I do
think now the time is right for Ireland to do it. It feels right the
time to move on. Alistair Cooke has resigned from England cricket
captaincy. He said he had gone to the well, too many times. Do you
feel it is the case for you? I put a lot of time and effort into the
captaincy. I did not try to change how I am or what I do, but you do
carry the weight with you as captain. Someone like Alan Wynne, an
international candidate for captain for any team in the world, he can
step in seamlessly. He is one of the form players in Wales. His
leadership is brilliant and it will be an easy transition for him to
come in and take over. It made the decision easier knowing you would
have an experienced guy coming in and doing a great job. I got the
time is right. To be a little bit selfish and focus on yourself and
get your game right. There is lots of good things that happened when I
was captain, but a lot of things I wished I could have changed as well.
I am proud of myself, it is five and a half years more than I thought I
would do. What as it been like the last few weeks just as Sam, rather
than the captain. Obviously I want to do my bit for the team. I will
try and have a leadership role in the team because I feel I have
something to offer, experience I have now. It is nice being able to
focus on yourself and over time, you just want to get back to enjoy
playing and strip it back and just be the rugby player. That was the
thought for me. Plus I have a little one as well. It kind of made me
think, do what you are happy with. I am 28, whether I have three, four,
56 years left, I will make sure I enjoy them.
Sam Warburton there, the former Welsh captain,
He was pretty young when he started, but luckily they have Alun Wyn
Jones, did you agree with the decision to switch them, what did
you think about it? By Sam's admission, in six years it was time
for him to move on. When you have Alun Wyn Jones, he was captain of
the British Lions as well, he was a natural fit for him to take over. I
think the time is right. Sam did a wonderful job. Alun Wyn Jones
started well last week and hopefully he can continue in that vein. He
could be the Lions captain again. On Sunday it is France against
Scotland. So let's catch up with all the team
news from our reporters Nial Foster is in Rome
with the Ireland camp as they look to get their campaign back
on track against Italy. It was a captain's run with a
difference for Ireland as no captain was in attendance here. Rory Best,
who often leads from the front for Ireland was back in his hotel room
nursing a stomach bug. But the Irish camp are confident the 34-year-old
will be fit and raring to go against Italy tomorrow. I think there is
always things that crop up in the course of a week. I think how we
react and respond to it, hopefully it will allow us to continue the
preparation as seamlessly as possible. Unfortunately, these
things happen. We are confident he will recover in time for tomorrow.
The England camp has been on edge this week. Eddie Jones said on
Monday, the victory over France felt a bit like a defeat. Jones has also
been stoking the fires with his comments about the Cardiff
atmosphere and his apparent U-turn over the principality stadium roof,
or lack of it. As for selection, Jack Nowell returns on the wing.
Jack Clifford comes in at flanker. He will provide pace and dynamism to
the back row. One of a handful of players who haven't received the
reception that awaits England on Saturday. We need to do the
fundamentals well to give ourselves options in attack. We need the
defence to be disciplined, nice and square and off the line. If we do
those simple things well, I think we will have a great game.
The Wales camp have been nursing injuries this week and it is still
not clear exactly who will be walking out of this tunnel tomorrow
afternoon. Dan Biggar and George North are both named in the sides,
but both are nursing injuries and Rob Howley will give them as long as
possible to recover. Toby Fowler Tao is on the bench and he could make a
really big impact. For the trip to Paris, just one
change to the 15 who started against Ireland last week. That is upfront
and it is because of injury. Wilson is out with an infected elbow, so he
is replaced by John Barclay. The Scots, buoyed by an opening weekend
win over Ireland, now looking for the first victory here in Paris
since 1999. It has improved and is becoming a dangerous team to cause
anybody problems. We need to understand why we beat them last
year. We need to develop new ways of being clever and smart, being able
to score points. We looked at that this weekend.
Martin, the Scots are in flying form, but can they beat them in
France? Interesting, I thought they were outstanding last weekend, but
this is different. The French are an improved side and they are
juggernauts, huge team. If Scotland can get parity up front, they stand
a chance. Scotland beat Ireland last week, will they be able to bounce
back in Rome? They are still full of world-class players and beat
Australia and New Zealand in the autumn. Bit of a hiccup last week,
but they will bounce back and if it is a dry day in Rome, they could put
the score on Italy. Italy were disappointing against Wales last
week. Where do you stand on the whole Six Nations should be the
strongest in Europe because there is the Georgia argument? Georgia showed
what a great side they are. If Wales finished bottom, you will play off
against Georgia, Romania. But I think it will be a great idea if
they did have relegation. The women's tournament mirrors the
men's. England's women are in Cardiff tomorrow morning at Cardiff
Arms Park playing Wales. There was an incredible match between Scotland
and Ireland but it went the way of Ireland.
Scotland's women haven't won a match in the Six Nations the seven years,
so they weren't expected to challenge Ireland. In the first
match, that is exactly what they did. Two first half tries put them
ahead at the break. But missed penalties meant they miss the
opportunity to stretch the lead. In the final minutes, island made them
pay. Jenny Murphy crashed over to snatch victory for the Irish. 22
Dutch 15 the final score but a losing bonus point and will be
little consolation. England missed out on becoming Six Nations
champions last year to France. They were beaten by them in their final
match. It looked like it might be a similar result at Twickenham when
they trailed 13/ zero. But in an emphatic performance, they answered
16 unanswered points. We knew we were in a Test match and it shows
the strength of a team when we can come out and grind out a win. It
wasn't perfect but sometimes it is about winning. Wales struggled
against Italy in recent years, but under new coach Rowland Phillips
they ground out a victory. They ran out winners 20-8. After round one it
is island who top the table thanks to their bonus point win over
Scotland. They face Italy away on Sunday. England and Wales both
picked up four points and Scotland will hope to build on the losing
bonus point, but they face a tough test against France. There will be
highlights of the women's's games on BBC Two.
And on Sunday, France versus Scotland live from Paris
Tell me, what is it about this rivalry, what does it feel like when
you walk onto the pitch at your home ground against England? You always
ask when you retire, do you miss the game? These are the moment you miss.
This place will be bouncing. Every man and his dog, it is all they have
been talking about all week. Particularly if England come in, the
Big Brother, if you like, from across the bridge. It is always nice
if you can get one over on the old enemy. It is a special place.
Butterflies are starting already, 24 was out, I cannot wait. We are
hoping tomorrow will be a classic. We are calling them the solar
lights, the grass growing lights, get that bit is there because it has
been trained on. That's it for us, we will leave you with a classic. It
was in 2013, Wales against England, England came here on the last eight
of the six Nations hoping for a grand slam. Wales had other ideas.
Good night. It has been a cold day and we have
seen a wintry mix of showers and that is the theme over the weekend.
A lot of cloud for the weekend and the showers will