Sian Williams: 2016 Women's Six Nations is the most exciting yet

Sian Williams
Sian Williams is writing a column for BBC Wales Sport throughout the 2016 Women's Six Nations
Women's Six Nations: Wales v Italy
Date: Sunday, 20 March Venue: Talbot Athletic Ground, Port Talbot Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Highlights on Scrum V Six Nations Special from 19:00 GMT, BBC Two Wales on Sunday and later on demand

It has not just been a great Women's Six Nations tournament this year - the playing field has levelled out and you can see the interest in the competition growing.

Women's rugby is growing on the performance side, but I also think the style of rugby is now the most exciting to watch.

The level of interest has been helped by the fact that more matches are being televised.

At the start of the tournament, people would have expected holders Ireland or France to dominate.

But England have really proven themselves and so have we, while even sixth-placed Scotland are playing a good style of rugby now too, ensuring people are not putting 60 points on them.

That is really important as well because it shows that all teams across the board are developing, especially with our win against France and England's win against Ireland.

Can England women win the Grand Slam against France on Friday? They are up against it. Facing France in France is not easy.

But if they perform as they did against us, they will deserve the Grand Slam.

They deserve credit for the way they have played and not many teams expected what they have produced.

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Our disappointing 20-13 loss to England last Saturday was still an excellent game - you did not know which way it would swing.

And while we have got to be disappointed with our first-half performance, we can be really proud of the positives in the second half.

It shows how we are developing as a squad because, two years ago, if we had gone in at half-time, we might not have come back at all.

Every time England turned us over, they put us in the corner, the momentum completely swung.

Keeping the ball has to be a key thing in our game in future. But we can do it. It is about consistency.

And we know from the fact that we lost away to Italy last year and they are building each year, they will punish us on Sunday if they can.

Sian Williams
Wales women have won two and lost two of their four Six Nations matches so far in 2016

But we have won all our home games so far this year and we need to go out and perform.

It is a huge chance for us to finish the campaign on a high.

Before the start of this championship, we wanted at least two wins, to guarantee World Cup qualification, so I think the pressure is off a bit in the sense that we have now qualified.

But finishing with a 100% home record would go someway towards people starting to fear playing Wales away from home.

Wales Women's Six Nations fixtures
Ireland 21-3 WalesWales 23-10 Scotland
Wales 10-8 FranceEngland 20-13 Wales
Italy (h) 20 March

Throughout the next year, core skills will be a massive focus for us so, come the 2017 World Cup, we are as sharp as possible.

And the rugby sevens is going to do wonders for the profile of the women's game this summer.

With the European Championships and then the Olympics in Rio, attention will remain on women's rugby and Welsh women's rugby.

After Rio, people are going to say: "I want to play rugby."

Laurie Harries
Laurie Harries could be at the Rio Olympics for Team GB

Wales have two sevens-format stars to look out for too, who are possibly heading for Rio with Team GB.

Laurie Harries and Jasmine Joyce both had a really good run at the World Series qualifiers.

Australia and New Zealand usually dominate the Sevens Series and will be contenders in Brazil.

But France are also among the European teams with a good chance if they perform well.

One loss can cause a big upset - that is all part of the excitement of sevens.

Sian Williams was talking to BBC Wales Sport's Tom Garry.

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