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The Independent Online
St Patrick's Day has caused the Five Nations' Championship fixtures for next season and 1997 to be completely re-written. The Five Nations Committee have been under pressure from Ireland to avoid a home match in Dublin around 17 March and the scheduled fixtures on 16 March 1996 and 15 March 1997 switch to be the opening games of the series in January with the next four rounds put back.

REVISED Five Nations' Championship fixtures: 1996: 20 January: France v England, Ireland v Scotland. 3 February: England v Wales, Scotland v France. 17 February: France v Ireland, Wales v Scotland. 2 March: Ireland v Wales, Scotland v England. 16 March:

Wales v France, England v Ireland. 1997: 18 January: Ireland v France, Scotland v Wales. 1 February: Wales v Ireland, England v Scotland. 15 February: France v Wales, Ireland v England. 1 March: England v France, Scotland v Ireland. 15 March: Wales v En g land, France v Scotland.

Emyr Lewis had his damaged right ankle put in plaster last night, placing his presence in the Five Nations' Championship opener against France on 21 January in doubt. A specialist confirmed that the Wales and Cardiff No 8 had damaged the lateral ligaments during Saturday's match at Bridgend. The ankle will now be immobilised for two weeks.

Tony Underwood will miss Leicester's Pilkington Cup fourth round tie against Blackheath on Saturday. The England winger received a hand injury against Canada at the weekend and will not play again until the New Year.