SIX NATIONS LIVE: Wales v France and England v Ireland – follow all the action
16:17 GMT, 17 March 2012
Sportsmail brings you all the thrills
and spills from the final weekend of the Six Nations as Wales host France in Cardiff and England welcome Ireland to Twickenham on St Patrick's Day. All eyes are on the Millennium Stadium where Wales are chasing a third Grand Slam in eight years. But should Warren Gatland's impressive side lose, then England's youngsters still have an outside chance of claiming this year's title with a big points win over the Irish. Follow the action with Chris Cutmore.
Wales 13 France 6
Halfpenny, Cuthbert, J. Davies (S. Williams), Roberts, North, Priestland, Phillips (L. Williams),
Jenkins, Rees (Owens), A. Jones, A. Jones (Charteris), Evans, Lydiate, Warburton (R. Jones), Faletau.
Replacements: James, Hook.
Pens: Halfpenny (2)
Poitrenaud (Buttin), Fofana, Rougerie, Fritz, Palisson (Trinh-Duc), Beauxis, Yachvili, Poux (Debaty),
Servat (Szarzewski), Attoub, Pape, Maestri (Pierre), Dusautoir, Bonnaire, Harinordoquy (Picamoles).
Pens: Yashvili, Beauxis
69 mins: Here's where France want it, inside the French 10-metre line. Ken Owens popping up all over the park now, bursting through the gain-line.
66 mins: French surge, picking and driving towards the line, Pape, Szarzewski, Dusautoir… But Wales hold on and force the penalty, France holding on.
62 mins: This is getting edgy, plenty of scrappy stuff in the middle of the park. But that's another massive tackle by Lydiate, that player of the tournament debate is over!
58 mins: Cuthbert penalised and France catch Wales napping, Beauxis kicks cross-field from half-way and Buttin storms towards the hosts' try-line. But Cuthbert brings him down and Wales hang on.
56 mins: The Welsh forwards sticking the ball up jumper and driving through the middle, slow ball but energy sapping and inching towards the French line and another Grand Slam…
53 mins: The penalty was forced by another big hit by Dan Lydiate, who is having another massive game for Wales. Player of the tournament
52 mins: Wales 13 France 6 (Halfpenny pen)
Halfpenny goes for it from all of 55m, well inside his own half that… and makes it with 10m to spare. Huge boot from the full-back, incredible. And all that after France looked like turning the screw.
51 mins: Now it's Lydite on Fofana, crunch!
50 mins: HUGE hit by Dusautoir on Roberts, this is really heating up!
49 mins: Breatheless stuff, end-to-end, turnovers aplenty – this is a different France!
46 mins: Drop-goal attempt by Beauxis… drops just wide! All the momentum with the visitors now.
45 mins: William Servat makes way for Dimitri Szarzewski and heads off into retirement after 45 caps won.
44 mins: Wales 10 France 6 (Beauxis pen)
Maybe this isn't over after all. Just four points in it after a superb counter by the replacement Buttin puts Wales under pressure. He hacks no and chases towards the Wales try-line. Penalty conceded by Jenkins for offside and Beauxis makes no mistake.
42 mins: Cuthbert again slices through the French defence like a knife through butter! What a player he is. The off-load looked forward to Toby Faletau, but the referee says play on. Poor kick to the corner ends the attack though.
41 mins: Here we go again!
Sam Warburton's all-action display is over already. He makes way for Ryan Jones.
HALF-TIME: Wales 10 France 3
The Grand Slam is just 40 minutes away (plus 10 for the break) and on this evidence Wales will win it at a canter.
40 mins: But Halfpenny hits the post! Harinordoquy gathers and holds on under pressure. Golden chance for Wales missed.
39 mins: Yachvili, who has had a rather patchy half – and that's putting it kindly – sees his box-kick charged down by Ian Evans, who simply stuck his arms up in the air at the ruck. Dreadful kick. The Welsh scent blood and pile onto the scampering scrum-half, and force another penalty deep into the French half.
36 mins: And that just about sums it all up. France secure good line-out ball in the Welsh half, set up a maul that goes nowhere fast, before the referee yells at them to use it or lose it. Then the Welsh plough in and drive Servat and co backwards five metres and win the penalty. easy.
35 mins: The boots of the Welsh back-line keep pinning France back, there's only one side in this. A quite stunning Poitrenaud catch from an up-and-under saves the day for the struggling French.
33 mins: Wales 10 France 3 (Halfpenny pen)
31 mins: Jonathan Davies is absolutely everywhere and now he pops up in defence, rushing out to force a mistake. The loose ball pops out and the centre now hacks clear putting the French under huge pressure. And there's the penalty as the French forward go in off their feet. Simple chance for Halfpenny on the 22.
27 mins: It's looking good for Wales here. They're winning the kicking duel, thanks mainly to Priestland's bombs down the middle. And now Imanol Harinordoquy flings a dreadful pass straight out of play. Is this really France
Settling the nerves: Wales wing Alex Cuthbert celebrates as he runs in to score the opening try
No stopping him: Alex Cuthbert sprints past the French defence to score Wales' first try of the game
23 mins: Wales 7 France 3 (Halfpenny con)
The full-back adds the extras.
22 mins: Wales 5 France 3 (Cuthbert try)
Take a bow, Alex Cuthbert. What a try! Dan Lydiate steals ball from Thierry Dusautoir of all people and Cuthbert is released on the right touchline. The wing has so much to do but cuts inside three defenders to score.
19 mins: Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant by the French – magnifique in fact – as Servat works a short line-out down the right and bursts clear and into the Wales 22. Alex Cuthbert brings him down but the visitors are in a different gear. But then a penalty is given away to end the attack with the line in sight, going into the ruck off their feet.
17 mins: France defending in their own half once again but Mike Phillips is pounced on by four defenders, who swarm over the scrum-half.
15 mins: Priestland hit the post! Oh, the nerves are jangling inside the Millennium Stadium now. Wales' fly-half slices his effort from wide on the right side of the field and the crowd emits a gutteral groan.
14 mins: Huge pressure applied by Wales now, rolling through the phases, probing at the French defence. The visitors hold up very well and Leigh Halfpenny gets a clattering, but Vachvili is penalised for not releasing, needless penalty.
10 mins: Wales 0 France 3 (Yashvili pen)
Tackler Gethin Jenkins is penalised in front of his posts for not releasing and Yachvili slots the simple kick. Wake up England, is the championship back on!
8 mins: Some rare French ball here – they're looking to give Wales the ball and counter-attack. But that's a dreadful take from Dmitri Yashvili after a sprightly break from a ruck by the rotund William Servat. The heavens have opened and handling looks tricky. Yep, rain in Wales. Who'd have thunk it
6 mins: The crowd come alive as Rhys Priestland hacks straight down the middle with Clement Poitrenaud out of position at full-back. But the French flyer scampers back and wins the foot race.
4 mins: First glimpse at the respective scrums today. Heave… Wales win that small battle by winning a freekick as the packs go down.
2 mins: Wales already have France under huge pressure on their try-line after two breaks by centre Jonathan Davies. Beauxis hacks clear.
Crunch: Matthew Rees is tackled by France flanker Thierry Dusautoir
1 min: Lionel Beauxis fancies a go at a drop-goal from miles out within seconds of the start and the crowd jeer as he shanks horribly.
2.50pm: Kick off!
2.46pm: The tension builds further as La Marsaillaise is observed politely. But a roaring, cacophonous version of Land of My Fathers splits the silence, we're ready to go!
2.45pm: First, a minute's silence, for Wales legend Mervyn Davies who died on Friday and former New Zealand administrator Jock Hobbs.
2.42pm: Here come the teams, Matthew Rees leading the Welsh out amid a few furious pyrotechnic blasts on the occasion of his 50th cap.
2.40pm: Looking for omens Well, France have won seven of their last eight visits to this stadium. Oh, and France have spoiled an opponent's Grand Slam party on four previous occasions – England (1954), Wales (1965 and 1988) and Ireland (1982).
And there's one other recent defeat to France that a few Welshmen might just remember… he small matter of a 9-8 World Cup semi-final loss in Auckland last October. Ouch. Still hurts.
Feeling nervous yet
2.35pm: Just 10 minutes to go now, the Millennium Stadium is packed to the rafters and the locals are belting out a rousing version of 'Delilah' in classic choral voice.
So raucous is the atmosphere that it appears to have literally blown the roof off. I jest, of course – Gatland is none too impressed that the French did not allow his request to close said roof here today. Still, the pitch is bathed in sunshine, so everyone's a winner.
Feeling nervous A Wales supporter waits for kick-off at the Millennium Stadium
2.30pm: Here are the teams:
Wales: Halfpenny, Cuthbert, J. Davies, Roberts, North, Priestland, Phillips, Jenkins, Rees, A. Jones, A. Jones, Evans, Lydiate, Warburton, Faletau.
Replacements: Owens, James, Charteris, R. Jones, L. Williams, Hook, S. Williams.
France: Poitrenaud, Fofana, Rougerie, Fritz, Palisson, Beauxis, Yachvili, Poux, Servat, Attoub, Pape, Maestri, Dusautoir, Bonnaire, Harinordoquy.
Replacements: Szarzewski, Debaty, Pierre, Picamoles, Parra, Trinh-Duc, Buttin.
2.25pm: The first award of the season has just been dished out. Sadly for Scotland it's the dreaded Wooden Spoon. The Scots have crashed to a 13-6 defeat in Rome, and Andy Robinson's job must surely be on the line after five defeats in five sorry games this year.
2.15pm: A quite breathtaking Six Nations draws to a close this afternoon with two more mouthwatering clashes. Wales host France chasing yet another Grand Slam following previous clean sweeps in 2005 and 2008. France's championship hopes disappeared with defeat to England last week in Paris but there is surely no more dangerous side in world rugby than a France team with nothing to play for. Kick-off is at 2.45pm.
Then, at 5pm, England host Ireland. On St Patrick's Day. Enough said really. But then, should Wales slip-up, Stuart Lancaster and co could still steal the title from under Warren Gatland's nose with a heavy points win. They need a 38-point swing. Not much to ask, is it
HQ: Twickenham hosts a Six Nations clash between England and Ireland on St Patrick's Day