Debutant Ntamack among Toulouse trio for Six Nations opener

Jacob Stockdale scored seven tries in last year's Six Nations

Jacob Stockdale's opportunist try helped Ireland clinch the Grand Slam at Twickenham last March

The rest of the game was the same old kick and grunt that over the years has too often made the Six Nations about as much fun to watch as an appointment with a censorious dentist unimpressed with your dental hygiene.

The victor was full-back Jessy Tremouliere, who was injured towards the end of past year, and it will be a blow to the French squad that she is unavailable, along with a number of their other leading players who will be on sevens duty. Now is not the time to be some sort of pantomime villain in press conferences, now is the time to get busy. So hats off to Eddie, after a poor 2018, and his defensive coach John Mitchell, to go and win in a place where the All Blacks got seen off in the autumn series.

And you can be part of the ever-growing community of female rugby players kicking ass on the pitch and smiling at the surprised reaction to the sport they play.

Two variations With the exception of May's opening try, which came from a superb, cut out pass by Owen Farrell, after a period of dramatic, exciting, running and passing, England basically had two variations in play.

Something has to change, not least to keep attracting children to the grassroots game. It's the bottom end of the game where I see clubs struggling and schoolboys stopping playing the game.

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I was confident England would win and tipped them all week but I seemed to be in a minority of one - there was a real buzz coming out of the camp and they nailed it.

Few moments of joy The Six Nations test in Dublin, where England upset Ireland, 32-20, had about 12 minutes of rugby worth watching.

Reigning kings of Europe Ireland enter the fray as competition favourites with bookies backing the Emerald Isle giants to defend their crown from 2019, a platform head coach Joe Schmidt will hope can tee up Rugby World Cup success.

"We know they have a formidable defence, and unfortunately we didn't start the second half well and they did". Well they might, given the former is ranked 15th in the world now and the latter has oftern teetered on the edge of the top 10.

"I didn't notice it, it wasn't the full focus of my attention at the time".

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"That's always the little thing that nags at you - you can't control what they do". "That is how it's going to be (at the World Cup) and that's why England are, literally, such a big team and I thought they played really well tonight".

Wales were staring down the barrel at half-time against France as they went into the break 16-0 down, but they produced a stirring fightback to beat Le Bleus in Paris. They played at pace but then they looked like they had forgotten how to win a game of rugby.

Ireland now has the World Rugby Player of the Year in Johnny Sexton and, even if he is absent, Joey Carbery can slot in seamlessly.

After Tomos Williams crossed for a try early in the second half, France, for whom halves Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez botched 13 points from the kicking tee, gifted George North two tries.

COACH Warren Gatland hailed his Wales team as one that had "forgotten to lose" after they turned around a 16-point deficit to bag a thrilling 24-19 victory over France in the Six Nations opener.

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