Six Nations: New date for Scotland's clash in Wales but mystery over venue
But Under-20 Six Nations is scrapped
New dates for the postponed matches from the 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship have been confirmed.
Scotland's final game, against Wales away, will now take place, as expected, on Saturday 31 October. But organisers have still not revealed where the match will be played.
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff has been ruled out because it is being used as a field hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic and it was expected that the game would be switched to London.
Twickenham was thought to be the favoured option but the Six Nations has refused to confirm the venue.
Scotland's match against Wales was due to be played on 14 March but was postponed the day before as fears grew over the spread of the coronavirus. The UK went into lockdown shortly afterwards.
Three other Six Nations were also postponed and they too have been rescheduled.
The new dates are:
Saturday 24 October
Ireland v Italy (Aviva Stadium, KO TBC)
Saturday 31 October
Wales v Scotland (venue TBC, KO 2.15pm)
Italy v England (Stadio Olimpico, KO 4.45pm)
France v Ireland (Stade de France, KO 8pm)
The organisers said in a statement: “In rescheduling these matches, the health and safety of players, associated staff and supporters has been at the forefront of our thinking. We remain in close contact with all relevant authorities across the respective jurisdictions to ensure these matches take place in a safe environment and we will announce further details of health and safety protocols and guidance on spectator attendance in due course.”
After the Six Nations games have been completed, a new international tournament will take place involving the Six Nations sides and two guest teams, believed to be Fiji and Japan.
The sides will be split into two groups of four, with Scotland expected to be alongside France, Italy and Japan. The Scots will play France and Japan at home and Italy away.
The other group will feature England, Ireland, Wales and Fiji. Teams from each group will play each other in a final round of matches based on their finishing positions.
The matches will take the place of the autumn Tests which have been cancelled.
The statement added: “In recent weeks the Six Nations has also been progressing contingency plans for an alternative tournament format in place of the Autumn Internationals for 2020, primarily driven by travel restrictions not allowing many international teams to play the scheduled matches. This tournament will be a unique eight-team competition, involving the Six Nations unions and two other international teams. We are currently finalising match schedules, operational details including venues as well as commercial arrangements. Further announcements relating to this competition are expected to be made later this month.”
New dates for the postponed matches in the Women’s Six Nations have also been announced:
Weekend of 24 October:
Scotland v France
Ireland v Italy
Weekend of 31 October
Wales v Scotland
Italy v England
France v Ireland
Weekend of 5 December
Italy v Scotland
However, the postponed games in the men’s Under-20 Six Nations will not be played.
The statement added: “With regards to the U20 Six Nations championship, due to season scheduling constraints, it was decided that the three outstanding matches would not be played and there would be no winner for the 2020 Championship.”
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