Wales have soared up to a record high of sixth in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini after a 36-10 win over Italy in Parma in the penultimate match of what has been a thrilling 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

It was Wales’ record score against Italy in 22 meetings and came about thanks to tries from Bethan Lewis, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Sioned Harries, Alex Callender and Kerin Lake. Keira Bevan slotted three conversions and Elinor Snowsill one.

With 2.28 points riding on the outcome, Wales’ rating has increased to 77 points and that has seen them swap places with Italy in the rankings, with the Azzurre dropping down to eighth on 74.63 points.

Wales also secured third place in the Women’s Six Nations standings for the second consecutive year which means they will now play in the top tier of World Rugby’s new global competition, WXV, later this year.

Italy face a match against Rugby Europe Women’s Championship winners Spain to decide which of the teams plays in WXV 2 and WXV 3.

Scotland sign off in style

Meanwhile, Scotland have taken ninth place in the rankings off Ireland after defeating them in Edinburgh with an identical 36-10 scoreline to the game in Parma and are now at the joint-highest position they have ever been.

Meryl Smith, Lana Skeldon, Leah Bartlett, Francesca McGhie, Rachel Malcolm and Chloe Rollie all scored tries as Scotland secured their second consecutive win following the 29-21 victory over Italy in round four.

It was Scotland’s highest score and biggest win against Ireland.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s first winless Championship since 2004 has seen them drop down to 10th, matching their record lowest position, which was last held in February 2020.

Having finished fourth in the Women’s Six Nations standings, Scotland have secured their place in WXV 2. Ireland will play in WXV 3.

England extend lead at the top

In all respects other than the rankings, it was of course England’s big day.

The Red Roses clinched a fifth consecutive Women’s Six Nations title in front of a record women's crowd of 58,498 at Twickenham Stadium, holding on for a 38-33 victory against France on a landmark day for women’s rugby.

England raced into a 33-0 half-time lead in the first of Saturday’s fixtures after Abby Dow, Marlie Packer, Alex Matthews and Zoe Aldcroft scored in addition to a penalty try.

Lark Davies added a sixth try on the hour mark but the second-half was all about France as they finally rose to the occasion to score through Emilie Boulard, Gabrielle Vernier, Charlotte Escudero, Emeline Gros and Cyrielle Banet.

Jessy Tremouliere kicked four conversions but she was denied a win in her final appearance for France as England managed to get over the line and give head coach Simon Middleton a fairytale finish to his reign in charge of the Red Roses.

As an added bonus, England’s lead over New Zealand at the top of the rankings has marginally increased to 1.36 points. France, who will join England and Wales in WXV 1, remain in third place.