Calcutta Cup again put in first week as 2023 Six Nations schedule is confirmed
England will open their 2023 Guinness Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Twickenham.
It is the reverse of their first fixture this season, when Eddie Jones’ team lost 20-17 to the Scots in Edinburgh.
They then face Italy at home, before travelling to Cardiff and an appointment with Wales on February 25, then host France a fortnight later and meet Ireland in Dublin on March 18, which is the tournament’s closing game.
Wales, beaten for the first time at home by Italy last month, host Ireland in a February 4 opener, while their last match is against Grand Slam champions France in Paris.
Wales play all their games on a Saturday, and Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Steve Phillips said: “We are always looking for the best possible preparation time for our Wales coaches and players when Six Nations fixtures are drawn up, which means avoiding a six-day turnaround if possible.
“Of course, our respective colleagues in the Six Nations are all also looking for the same thing, meaning compromises must be made, so we are delighted to have finished up with Saturday afternoon kick-off times in all five rounds.”
Ireland, meanwhile, entertain France on February 11, and Scotland, after travelling to Twickenham, host Wales before travelling to Paris.
There are no Friday night fixtures on next year’s schedule, which is the final Six Nations tournament before the 2023 World Cup in France.
Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel said: “The 2022 championship ended in one of the most exciting ‘Super Saturdays’ in history with an incredible performance by Italy, a Triple Crown win for Ireland and a long-awaited Grand Slam for France.
“Once again, fans had to wait until the final game was played to know who this year’s champions would be, and the rugby action did not disappoint.
“As we look ahead to the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, there are so many storylines that will play out across the five rounds of fixtures.
“This is a huge part of what makes the championship so unique, and what continues to captivate the imagination of audiences and fans around the world.”
2023 Guinness Six Nations fixtures (kick-offs GMT)
February 4 – Wales v Ireland (1415), England v Scotland (1645)February 5 – Italy v France (1500).
February 11 – Ireland v France (1415), Scotland v Wales (1645).February 12 – England v Italy (1500).
February 25 – Italy v Ireland (1415), Wales v England (1645).February 26 – France v Scotland (1500).
March 11 – Italy v Wales (1415), England v France (1645).March 12 – Scotland v Ireland (1500).
March 18 – Scotland v Italy (1230), France v Wales (1445), Ireland v England (1700).
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