Ireland will open the defence of the RBS 6 Nations trophy with a home game against Italy on February 6 next year. Declan Kidney’s men will conclude their campaign at home to Scotland on March 20.
The Six Nations Council today announced the schedule of matches for the 2010 RBS 6 Nations Championship, which will kick-off in Dublin on Saturday, February 6 when Ireland meet Italy.
The tournament will conclude in Paris on Saturday, March 20 when France meet England.
After the success of the Friday night fixture in 2009 – which produced the biggest TV audience of any French game in France and the second highest average TV audience of all 15 games in the 2009 Championship – the Council have decided to host another Friday match, to be played in Cardiff on Friday, February 26.
Since 2003, the Championship has been entirely broadcast on terrestrial TV and the audience figures have increased dramatically in all of the participating six nations from 94 million in 2003 up to 125 million in 2009.
The 2010 tournament will celebrate the centenary of the first Championship between the five original members.
The 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship title was in the balance until the last match in Cardiff and it was a nail-biting spectacle which saw Ireland crowned Grand Slam winners for the first time in 61 years.
2010 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURE SCHEDULE:
(All times GMT)
Saturday, February 6
2.30pm – Ireland v Italy
5pm – England v Wales
Sunday, February 7
3pm – Scotland v France
Saturday, February 13
2pm – Wales v Scotland
4.30pm (5.30pm local) – France v Ireland
Sunday, February 14
2.30pm (3.30pm local) – Italy v England
February 20/21 – Rest Weekend
Friday, February 26
8pm – Wales v France
Saturday, February 27
1.30pm (2.30pm local) – Italy v Scotland
4pm – England v Ireland
March 6/7 – Rest Weekend
Saturday, March 13
2.30pm – Ireland v Wales
5pm – Scotland v England
Sunday, March 14
2.30pm (3.30pm local) – France v Italy
Saturday, March 20
2.30pm – Wales v Italy
5pm – Ireland v Scotland
7.45pm (8.45pm local) – France v England