The TikTok Women’s Six Nations enters the third round this weekend with Wales, England and France putting their unbeaten starts to the Championship on the line.

Wales and England meet in the first of the three fixtures, at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (14:15 local time), with both going into the encounter on the back of consecutive bonus-point wins.

It will be the Red Roses’ first road trip having overpowered Scotland 58-7 and Italy 68-5 in Newcastle and Northampton respectively, while Wales followed up their 31-5 win over Ireland in the opening round in Cardiff with a 34-22 victory against Scotland in Edinburgh.

Then, in the later of the two Saturday kick-offs (17:45 local time) in Parma, Italy and Ireland, the two teams propping up the Women’s Six Nations table, go in search of their first wins.

Round three concludes with France’s meeting with Scotland in Vannes on Sunday at 16:15 local time. It will be the first time Les Bleues have played at home this year and another bumper crowd is expected.

Les Bleues are currently in third place in the Women’s Six Nations 2023 standings, one point behind England and Wales, having beaten Italy 22-12 in Parma, but without a try bonus point, and Ireland 53-3 in Cork.

If England and France play true to form, they will win and retain top spot and third position in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini.

However, neither can improve their rating with victory as they have significantly more points than their opponents.

A shock defeat for either or both, though, is a different matter altogether and could lead to changes to the world pecking order.

For instance, the Red Roses will surrender top spot to New Zealand if they lose to a Wales team with a rating nearly 20 points lower than theirs.

England have topped the rankings since November 2020 and haven’t lost to Wales since 2015.

Wales aim to raise the bar

Wales must beat England by more than 15 points if they are to climb above the USA and equal their highest-ever ranking of seventh. Wales have not been ranked as high as seventh since February 2018.

A new high of sixth is possible if Wales win by that margin and Italy fail to beat Ireland.

The last of Scotland’s two victories against France on French soil was two decades ago and they will climb back into the top 10 if they win there for a third time. Even a draw would be enough to overhaul Japan.

France cannot fall from third place even with a heavy defeat by Scotland, although their cushion over Canada in fourth could be slashed by as much as three points to 2.21.

Meanwhile, Italy are unable to improve on fifth place by beating Ireland as the maximum gain possible for the Azzurre is only 0.19 rating points.

But the Azzurre will definitely fall two places if beaten with Australia and USA the beneficiaries in that scenario. They could slip as low as eighth depending on the scoreline and other results.

Away from the Women’s Six Nations, newly-crowned Rugby Europe Women’s Trophy 2022-23 winners Portugal will be aiming for a clean sweep of victories on Saturday as they end their campaign away to Germany.

Portugal won 57-0 the last time the sides met in 2022 in Lisbon but are eight places and 9.08 points worse off than their hosts, mainly because they only returned to test rugby less than two years ago and are playing catch-up.

As a result, a win for Portugal would see them jump five places to 24th with the potential for the gap between the teams to be reduced to just over three points.

Germany will remain 21st whatever the outcome in Heidelberg, although their advantage over China below could shrink to just 0.08 points.