Ireland will open the 2008 RBS 6 Nations championship at Croke Park against this season’s final weekend opponents – Italy. The fixture details for next year’s tournament were released today.
The 2008 RBS 6 Nations championship fixture schedule has been announced and Triple Crown holders Ireland will have the honour of kicking off next year’s tournament at home to Italy on Saturday, February 2.
A week later, Ireland travel to Paris to face the reigning champions France. Following a rest week, Eddie O’Sullivan’s men will be at home again, this time to Scotland on Saturday, February 23.
Unlike this season, next year’s Six Nations sees Ireland play all their games on a Saturday with most of their kick-offs in the early afternoon.
There is another rest weekend following the clash with Scotland, and on March 8 Ireland will be back at Croke Park to meet Wales. The ‘Super Saturday’ final weekend of matches will see Ireland finish their campaign against England at Twickenham, in the second of the three straight fixtures on March 15.
Commenting on the fixture schedule, RBS 6 Nations chairman Jacques Laurans said: “The dust has barely settled on one of the most exciting tournaments in recent history, yet we can now look forward in detail to the challenges of next year.
“Events have shown once again that this championship is incapable of prediction, and is a thoroughly competitive event from start to finish. Moreover, the fact that so many teams began their final games this season with a chance of winning outright augurs well for our nations’ prospects in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place later this year.”
2008 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
WEEK ONE –
Saturday, February 2:
IRELAND v Italy, Croke Park, 2pm
England v Wales, 4.30pm
Sunday, February 3:
Scotland v France, 3pm
WEEK TWO –
Saturday, February 9:
Wales v Scotland, 2pm
France v IRELAND, Stade de France, 4pm (5pm French time)
Sunday, February 10:
Italy v England, 2.30pm (3.30pm Italian time)
WEEK THREE –
February 16/17 – Rest Weekend
WEEK FOUR –
Saturday, February 23:
Wales v Italy, 3pm
IRELAND v Scotland, Croke Park, 5pm
France v England, 8pm (9pm French time)
WEEK FIVE –
March 1/2 – Rest Weekend
WEEK SIX –
Saturday, March 8:
IRELAND v Wales, Croke Park, 1.15pm
Scotland v England, 3.15pm
Sunday, March 9:
France v Italy, 3pm (4pm French time)
WEEK SEVEN –
Saturday, March 15:
Italy v Scotland, 1pm (2pm Italian time)
England v IRELAND, Twickenham, 3pm
Wales v France, 5pm