Wales will play all their 2003 Six Nations Championship matches on Saturday's.
Even though there will be a Sunday game in each of the rounds, Steve Hansen's side will find themselves in action on Saturday afternoons only.
The championship will kick-off against Italy in Rome on 15 February, while the first of the two home games will be against England at the Millennium Stadium on 22 February. That game will kick-off at 5.30pm.
The 2003 tournament will be the first to be played under the condensed seven-week format which was announced earlier this year.
Two consecutive weekends of play will be followed by a weekend of rest; then one further weekend of play followed by another weekend of rest. The tournament will then conclude with two consecutive weekends of play.
The schedule, which provides for two games on every 'playing' Saturday of
the tournament, followed by a single game on each Sunday, has been finalised in detailed liaison with the BBC, the Six Nations' television partner.
John Feehan, Six Nations' Commercial Director, said: "2003 will be the first
year for many in which we have had unified television arrangements, and I am delighted that our relationship with the BBC is alreay proving to be one based on partnership and co-operation.
"In finalising the detail of this schedule, we have sought to retain the
essential qualities and spirit of the Championship, and at the same time we
have endeavoured to ensure that this great tournament will be watched by a
wide, and expanding, television audience.
"We are now playing 50% more matches than used to be the case, and this had led to Sunday matches, necessary in order to avoid congestion and conflict.
"Also, in timing kick-offs, we have tried to avoid clashes with other sporting fixtures, meaning that live, televised Six Nations rugby will be guaranteed throughout the Championship.
"This is good news both for our supporters and for our commercial partners."
Pat Younge, BBC Sport's Head of Programmes and Planning, said: "We are
delighted to have reached an agreement with the Six Nations Committee over
"The new schedule ensures no fixture clash, which we believe will benefit fans, spectators and sponsors alike and will also help raise rugby's profile.
"We're particularly pleased that the Wales v England game will be played at 5.30pm at the Millennium Stadium. It's a bold and imaginative move to bring rugby into peak-time viewing, which demonstrates the confidence of all parties in the potential appeal of the game."
SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP 2003
Saturday, 15 February, 2003
Italy v Wales 13.30
England v France 16.00
Sunday, 16 February
Scotland v Ireland 15.00
Saturday, 22 February
Italy v Ireland 14.30
Wales v England 17.30
Sunday, 23 February
France v Scotland 14.00
Saturday, 8 March
Ireland v France 14.00
Scotland v Wales 16.00
Sunday, 9 March
England v Italy 14.00
Saturday, 22 March
Wales v Ireland 14.00
England v Scotland 16.00
Sunday, 23 March
Italy v France 14.00
Saturday, 29 March
France v Wales 13.00
Scotland v Italy 15.00
Sunday, 30 March
Ireland v England 14.00
All above times are UK and Ireland times. Add an hour for Italy and France.
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