For the first time in nearly two years, fans are set to return to the stands for the 2022 Six Nations.
Rugby’s grand old continental competition is set to again be enlivened after the last two editions were held partly or totally behind-closed-doors, though doubts remain over whether stadiums will be allowed to be full in all host nations with particularly strict crowd restrictions still in place in Wales.
That has caused some to call for the relocation of the tournament to a single location, but formal contingency plans along these lines are yet to be considered.
As things stand, the six teams will battle across five rounds in February and March, with the tournament likely to be decided in the traditional denouement on “Super Saturday” in what could be an exceptionally competitive 128th edition of the competition.
Wales are the defending champions but face a set of stern challengers as they bid to retain their title, with England, France, Ireland and Scotland looking to build on encouraging Autumn Nations Series campaigns, and a young Italy side hoping to cause a shock.
Here is everything you need to know:
When is the Six Nations?
The Six Nations begins in Dublin on Saturday 5 February, with Ireland and Wales renewing hostilities at the Aviva Stadium, before Scotland host England at Murrayfield later on the opening day. France and Italy kick off their campaigns a day later in Paris.
It will conclude with three consecutive matches on ‘Super Saturday’ on 19 March. Wales finish with an encounter with Italy, Ireland play Scotland and England will be in Paris to take on France.
What is the fixture schedule?
Saturday 5 February
Ireland vs Wales, 2.15pm GMT, (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
Scotland vs England, 4.45pm GMT, (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)
Sunday 6 February
France vs Italy, 3pm GMT (Stade de France, Paris)
Saturday 12 February
Wales vs Scotland, 2.15pm GMT (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)
France vs Ireland, 4.45pm GMT (Stade de France, Paris)
Sunday 13 February
Italy vs England, 3pm GMT (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)
Saturday 26 February
Scotland vs France, 2.15pm GMT (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)
England vs Wales, 4.45pm GMT (Twickenham Stadium, London)
Sunday 27 February
Ireland vs Italy, 3pm GMT (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
Friday 11 March
Wales vs France, 8pm GMT (Principality Stadium, Wales)
Saturday 12 March
Italy vs Scotland, 2.15pm GMT (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)
England vs Ireland, 4.45pm GMT (Twickenham Stadium, London)
Saturday 19 March
Wales vs Italy, 2.15pm GMT (Principality Stadium, Cardiff)
Ireland vs Scotland, 4.45pm GMT (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
France vs England, 8pm GMT (Stade de France, Paris)
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