18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
The championship has been condensed into a seven week period for the first time in its history. The first two rounds of matches will be played on successive weekends; there will be a fortnight before round three; another two week gap before round four, with round five following the weekend after.
The fixtures are as follows,
15/16 February.England v France: Scotland v Ireland: Italy v Wales.
22/23 February.Wales v England: France v Scotland: Italy v Ireland.
8/9 March.Ireland v France: Scotland v Wales: England v Italy.
22/23 March.Wales v Ireland: England v Scotland: Italy v France.
29/30 March.France v Wales: Ireland v England: Scotland v Italy.
Dates and kick-off times will be announced at a later date.