The fixtures for the 2014 and 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championships were announced today. Ireland will begin next year’s tournament with back-to-back home matches, taking on Scotland and reigning champions Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the space of six days.
That first weekend of the 2014 Six Nations will take place on Saturday, February 1 and Sunday, February 2, 2014. Wales kick off their title defence against Italy in Cardiff, with England travelling to France and Ireland entertaining Scotland in their opening fixtures.
The final round of matches – ‘Super Saturday’ – next year will see Italy hosting England, Wales welcoming Scotland and, in the third game, Ireland taking on France in Paris.
Of course, the clashes between Ireland, Italy and France will have some added spice over the next two seasons as the countries have been drawn to face each other in the pool stages of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Indeed, the men in green will open their 2015 campaign with matches against both Italy and France, the latter game being followed by a Sunday showdown with England at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland have a single Sunday date in both the 2014 and 2015 Championships, with afternoon kick-offs for the most part.
Their only evening fixtures are their games against les Bleus – the 2014 tournament will conclude with a 6pm Paris kick-off for France v Ireland, and the Ireland v France fixture on St. Valentine’s Day in 2015 will get underway at 5pm in Dublin.
Announcing the fixtures, Bill Beaumont, Chairman of the Six Nations Council, commented on the tournament’s history and traditions inherent in the world’s oldest and largest annual premier rugby tournament.
“Today the RBS 6 Nations Championship is the focus of rugby and sports supporters all over the world, particularly over those seven weekends in February and March,” he said.
‘This year we saw over one million people attend the 15 matches, making it still the best attended international rugby tournament in the world on a per match basis.
‘Record numbers also watched on TV in over 160 countries, in particular we saw all time high BBC audiences in the UK. (live global TV broadcast hours have increased six-fold since 2010).
“We were the first rugby property to have our own official YouTube channel which means we have on-going online exposure for the RBS 6 Nations and we reached one million views within weeks of the launch.”
2014 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
IRELAND MATCHES –
Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, 3pm, Sunday, February 2, 2014
Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, 2.30pm, Saturday, February 8, 2014
England v Ireland, Twickenham, 4pm, Saturday, February 22, 2014
Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, 2.30pm, Saturday, March 8, 2014
France v Ireland, Stade de France, 6pm local time/5pm Irish time, Saturday, March 15, 2014
2015 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
IRELAND MATCHES –
Italy v Ireland, Stadio Olimpico, 3.30pm local time/2.30pm Irish time, Saturday, February 7, 2015
Ireland v France, Aviva Stadium, 5pm, Saturday, February 14, 2015
Ireland v England, Aviva Stadium, 3pm, Sunday, March 1, 2015
Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium, 2.30pm, Saturday, March 14, 2015
Scotland v Ireland, Murrayfield, 2.30pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015