Six Nations

Scotland beat England in Calcutta Cup thriller for the ages

Van der Merwe plundered his decisive second try in the 74th minute as Scotland came from behind to record a 29-23 victory in their Guinness Six Nations opener.

The marauding Lions wing had already brought Twickenham to its feet with a stunning first-half score that began in his own half and saw five would-be tacklers beaten by his speed, strength and footwork.

While a magnificent solo score, it exposed a failing in England’s defence that was a recurring theme in the afternoon’s main indicator of a team playing under a new regime for the first time.

Scotland stun England at Twickenham again

Scotland twice led in the first half with a try by Huw Jones and a spectacular 60-metre effort by Van der Merwe but England hit back with two for recalled winger Max Malins then edged 13-12 ahead at halftime with a penalty by Owen Farrell.

Reuters reports tries for Ellis Genge and Ben White and a penalty apiece kept it as a one-point game until Van der Merwe finished off a lovely move three minutes from the end.

Vunipola left out of England's Six Nations squad

Other high-profile omissions include experienced wings Jonny May and Jack Nowell.

Meanwhile, Borthwick has recalled 95-cap veteran prop Dan Cole, 35, who last played for England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.

Northampton fly-half Fin Smith is one of five uncapped players in the squad.

London Irish wing Ollie Hassell-Collins, Gloucester hooker George McGuigan, and Harlequins pair Cadan Murley and Jack Walker are the four other new caps.

     

Italy break Six Nations drought

A brilliant break from rookie fullback Ange Capuozzo set up the score for Padovani, and when flyhalf Paolo Garbisi kicked the conversion from in front of the posts on the final whistle, Italy had secured their magic moment that left some players in tears.

It was fully deserved, too. They bullied Wales at the breakdown and put in a stout defensive display, something that had been a weakness in recent years, to secure one of the more famous wins in their rugby history and show their continued improvement under coach Kieran Crowley.

'A global champion every two years': Push for world test rugby competition

Three years after the concept was killed off by promotion and relegation fears, the chief executives of rugby’s 10 most powerful national unions are close to agreeing the structure of a global championship to be held every two years from 2024.

Visitors get Six Nations campaign back on track

Despite losing their opener in Scotland, Eddie Jones' England are now second in the table behind unbeaten France after two rounds.

England almost claimed a bonus point before half-time as Marcus Smith crossed and Jamie George scored twice.

Elliot Daly got the fourth try after the break and Kyle Sinckler added another after a dip in intensity.

England head coach Jones had asked his players to "light up" Rome and they duly delivered as the visitors' pace overwhelmed their hosts.

France 37-10 Italy - Gabin Villiere scores hat-trick for hosts

The Azzurri briefly threatened to derail France's attempt at a first title since 2010 when debutant teenager Tommaso Menoncello scored.

But Anthony Jelonch and Gabin Villiere crossed to put the hosts in front.

After the break, Villiere completed his hat-trick and Damian Penaud also crossed to secure the bonus point.

France top the table after round one from second-placed Ireland on points difference, with Andy Farrell's side travelling to Paris in round two.

Ireland hammer sorry Wales 29-7 in one-sided opener

The dominant hosts scored only one try in the first half, through Bundee Aki.

Andrew Conway's quickfire double and a magnificent Garry Ringrose effort after the break saw Ireland accelerate away from the injury-ravaged visitors.

Only Taine Basham's late try saved Wales the ignominy of a scoreless defeat.

Wayne Pivac's side remain without a victory in Dublin since 2015 and have rarely looked less likely to win in the Irish capital as they were stifled throughout by an impressive Irish defence.

Six Nations 2022: Welsh Rugby Union considering hosting games in England

First Minister Mark Drakeford imposed restrictions on sporting events in Wales, effectively meaning professional games are behind closed doors.

There is no date set for when measures could be eased, with the next review scheduled for 7 January.

Wales are due to host Scotland in Cardiff on 12 February.

Wayne Pivac's side are also scheduled to meet France on 11 March and Italy eight days later at the Principality Stadium, meaning Wales could face the prospect of playing over half the competition on home soil with no fans.

Owen Farrell, Jamie George & Manu Tuilagi set to play in Six Nations

Fly-half and centre Farrell required surgery on an ankle injury suffered in the win over Australia on 13 November, when hooker George damaged a knee.

Centre Tuilagi tore a hamstring in the win over South Africa a week later.

Saracens head coach Mark McCall said Farrell will return "towards the end of January".

He added: "It won't be in the next couple of weeks, but it should be before the Six Nations".