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
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.