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, 6 February, when Ireland meet Italy. The Championship will conclude in Paris on Saturday, 20 March, 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, 26 February.
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 both the centenary of the first championship between the five original members and the 10th anniversary of Italy joining the competition.
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.
RBS 6 Nations Championship 2010 Fixture Schedule
(ALL TIMES GMT)
Week 1 Saturday 6th February
14:30 - Ireland v Italy
17:00 - England v Wales
Sunday 7th February
15:00 - Scotland v France
Week 2 Saturday 13th February
14:00 - Wales v Scotland
16:30 (17:30 local) - France v Ireland
Sunday 14th February
14.30 (15:30 local) - Italy v England
Week 3 20/21 February - Rest Weekend
Week 4 Friday 26th February
20:00 - Wales v France
Saturday 27th February
13:30 (14:30 local) - Italy v Scotland
16:00 - England v Ireland
Week 5 6/7 March - Rest Weekend
Week 6 Saturday 13th March
14:30 - Ireland v Wales
17:00 - Scotland v England
Sunday 14th March
14:30 (15.30 local) - France v Italy
Week 7 Saturday 20th March
14:30 - Wales v Italy
17:00 - Ireland v Scotland
19:45 (20:45 local) - France v England
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.