Fixtures released for 2020 Six Nations, with champions Wales opening at home to Italy

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Wales will open their Grand Slam defence against Italy at the Principality Stadium following release of the fixtures for the 2020 Six Nations.

Wayne Pivac will make his debut as Warren Gatland’s successor in the curtain raiser to the tournament on February 1 when Conor O’Shea’s Azzurri will be looking to end their 22-match losing run in the competition.

Wales claimed the third Grand Slam of Gatland’s reign by routing Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday and will enter the looming World Cup as Europe’s standard bearers.

In what could be the first game of the post-Eddie Jones era, England travel to Paris to face France on February 2 before later clashing with Ireland and Wales in successive matches.

Completing the opening weekend’s fixtures is Ireland’s clash with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in what will be Andy Farrell’s debut as head coach of a team that flopped in this year’s Six Nations.

The climax to the tournament will be on March 14 when France meet Ireland on home soil at 8pm, meaning it could be late into the night before the final outcome is known.

Organisers have described this unprecedented move as an appearance on Saturday night “prime time”, but it is sure to be unpopular among many.

The 2021 Six Nations will also finish with a 8pm kick-off when France host Wales on March 20. Friday night games have been abandoned for both years.

2020 fixtures:

February 1-2

Wales v Italy Sat 2.15pm, Ireland v Scotland Sat 4.45pm, France v England Sun 3pm

February 8-9

Ireland v Wales Sat 2.15pm, Scotland v England Sat 4.45pm, France v Italy Sun 3pm

February 22-23

Italy v Scotland Sat 2.15pm, Wales v France Sat 4.45pm, England v Ireland Sun 3pm

March 7-8

Ireland v Italy Sat 2.15pm, England v Wales Sat 4.45pm, Scotland v France Sun 3pm

March 14

Wales v Scotland Sat 2.15pm, Italy v England Sat 4.45pm, France v Ireland Sat 8pm.

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