The fixture lists for the next two years of RBS 6 Nations Championship rugby were announced by the Six Nations Council on Wednesday. Ireland will start both campaigns with Saturday afternoon matches against Wales.
Commenting on the fixtures for the 2012 and 2013 Championships, Six Nations Chief Executive John Feehan said: “Our schedules aim to deliver as much great rugby as possible to the supporters.
“With stadia at full capacity, television is the best way to increase the number of people watching matches. We feel that the fixture schedules for the next two years will deliver on this.”
Ireland will start the 2012 Six Nations at home to Wales, and play France (away), Italy (home) and Scotland (home) before concluding with a St. Patrick’s Day finale against England at Twickenham.
In 2013, Ireland will visit Cardiff for their Championship opener, and games against England (home), Scotland (away), France (home) and Italy (away) will follow in that order.
All of Ireland’s matches will take place either on a Saturday or Sunday, with the Six Nations Council deciding to end the experiment regarding Friday night games, which has run for the past two years.
The 2011 RBS 6 Nations opens on Friday week (February 4) when Wales host England at the Millennium Stadium.
2012 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
Saturday, February 4: France v Italy, 2.30pm Irish time; Scotland v England, 5pm
Sunday, February 5: Ireland v Wales, 3pm
Saturday, February 11: Italy v England, 4pm Irish time; France v Ireland, 8pm Irish time
Sunday, February 12: Wales v Scotland, 3pm
Saturday, February 25: Ireland v Italy, 1.30pm; England v Wales, 4pm
Sunday, February 26: Scotland v France, 3pm
Saturday, March 10: Wales v Italy, 2.30pm; Ireland v Scotland, 5pm
Sunday, March 11: France v England, 3pm Irish time
Saturday, March 17: Italy v Scotland, 12.30pm Irish time; Wales v France, 2.45pm; England v Ireland, 5pm
2013 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
Saturday, February 2: Wales v Ireland, 1.30pm; England v Scotland, 4pm
Sunday, February 3: Italy v France, 3pm Irish time
Saturday, February 9: Scotland v Italy, 2.30pm; France v Wales, 5pm Irish time
Sunday, February 10: Ireland v England, 3pm
Saturday, February 23: Italy v Wales, 2.30pm Irish time; England v France, 5pm
Sunday, February 24: Scotland v Ireland, 2pm
Saturday, March 9: Scotland v Wales, 2.30pm; Ireland v France, 5pm
Sunday, March 10: England v Italy, 3pm
Saturday, March 16: Italy v Ireland, 2.30pm Irish time; Wales v England, 5pm; France v Scotland, 8pm Irish time