Wales head coach Warren Gatland has welcomed the RBS 6 Nations schedule for 2011 which begins with a Millennium Stadium clash against England on Friday 4 February.
Speaking to WRU.co.uk he said: "It's a fantastic draw with the first game being England at home on a Friday night which is exciting. We've had Friday night fixtures for a couple of years now but it's still new for the tournament. Then we have Scotland and Italy away which are games we'll need to target. If we can win that first game and then get a good run, we have Ireland at home and finish with France in Paris on a Saturday night.
"It's a good draw for us and as far as Friday nights are concerned, the players are used to them from the Magners League so it will make no different to us. It may take some time to settle in as far as supporters are concerned but personally I would find it quite exciting as you can make an evening of it at your local rugby club, make it a real occasion then have the weekend to play games or do other things.
"People are still getting used to it and there will be some objections but I think it's good for the tournament."
Gatland believes the opening game against England will be a great way to kick off the tournament.
"We'll be playing the old enemy and both teams showed in last year's Six Nations that they want to play attractive rugby. With an evening kick-off, it will be an opportunity to close the roof and give us some good ground conditions. It will be a really important game for the Six Nations tournament with two teams who desperately want to start well to go on and have a good Six Nations, especially for us as we try to target the next couple of games too."
Gatland hopes the match will be a chance to put aside memories of last year's opening defeat to Martin Johnson's England side.
"In the last four or five matches between the two sides, we've got a good record against England, coming out on the positive side. We went down against them last year and conceding points when we were given a yellow card has been well documented, but we showed good character to come back and at 20 - 17, it looked like we were going to finish on top of England, and having spoken to some of the English players I know they felt the same, that they were going to lose the game but unfortunately we threw an intercept try which put the game out of reach so it's definitely a chance for revenge. "The thing about this tournament next year is that it's important to build some momentum as we move towards the Rugby World Cup in 2011. This next six nations is going to be extremely important for all sides."
Gatland is excited at the prospect of ending the tournament as well as kicking it off.
"In the last two or three RBS 6 Nations tournaments, the last game has been a decider and if that's the case again next season, that will be great. If everything is at stake on the Saturday night in Paris, it will be hugely exciting way to end the tournament.
"The great thing about the Six Nations at the moment is that any team is capable of beating anyone else on the day. Last season, although Scotland were unlucky during the Six Nations and they lost to Italy but then beat Ireland on the last day which is fantastic for the tournament, great for the fan and the sponsor and good for the Six Nations which is the oldest tournament in world rugby. Having experienced it on a number of occasions, I don't think you can get a better tournament not just because of the rugby that's played but also the atmosphere the crowds create, the history, the travelling crowds - it's a very special tournament."
Wales' RBS 6 Nations 2011 fixtures (all kick-offs local time)
Friday 4 Feb 19.45 Wales v England
Saturday 12 February 5pm Scotland v Wales
Saturday 26 February 3.30pm Italy v Wales
Saturday 12 March 5pm Wales v Ireland
Saturday 19 March 8.45pm France v Wales
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