International Rugby is Back!
Here’s a handy guide of everything you need to know for the return of international rugby!
So… where were we?
The coronavirus pandemic put a halt to both the Men’s and Women’s 2020 Six Nations Championship.
In the Women’s competition, England had stormed to the lead after four games, and look set to wrap up the championship.
England‘s male counterparts were also progressing well in the tournament. After Venatour were in attendance for England’s shock defeat to France at the Stade de France in Week 1, Eddie Jones’s men rallied with hard-fought victories against Scotland and Wales, with a scintillating drubbing of Ireland at Twickenham.
France are level pegging with England at the top of the table after four games, with just two points separating the old rivals. After defeating England, Italy and France with ease, Scotland proved the banana skin for the French, losing 28-18 at Murrayfield.
Scotland were unlucky to come away with a defeat against England in “some of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen” according to Gareth Chilcott! Their international season has so far been a mixed bag. After a narrow loss to Ireland in the opening week, newly appointed captain Stuart Hogg led his team to victories over Italy and France, leaving them in third place in the Championship.
Ireland have enjoyed a new lease of life under new coach Andy Farrell. The father of England captain Owen, Farrell has enjoyed fusing new, exciting talent with the experienced Sexton & co. expect them to fly back out of the gates.
Wales have endured a rather different experience under the stewardship of Wayne Pivac. With their rudimentary opening weekend thrashing of Italy, Wales have lost three straight games and luck has to go their way if they are to reach any higher than fifth in this year’s Six Nations.
What happens next?
We can watch live rugby!
Unfortunately, this also means that there will be no fans in the grounds.
With Ireland and Italy’s fixture having been the only round-four fixture postponed, this match will be first up, before the final day next week.
If you’re still looking for more rugby, England have a showpiece of a warm-up match as they take on a Barbarians side littered with Premiership stars, including ex-England captain, Chris Robshaw.
Ireland v Italy – Aviva Stadium (15:30 BST) ITV
England v Barbarians – Twickenham (14:00) SKY SPORTS ARENA
Wales v Scotland – Parc y Scarlets (14:15 GMT) BBC ONE
Italy v England – Stadio Olimpico (16:45 GMT) ITV
France v Ireland – Stade de France (20:00 GMT) BBC TWO
What has happened since?
A lot has changed in the world of sport over the past year and rugby is no different.
- 17 April – World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont says no more rugby internationals this year is a distinct possibility.
- 5 May – The Rugby Football Union (RFU) would need a government bailout if England do not play until summer 2021.
- 15 May – England’s tour to Japan is called off as World Rugby cancels all July Tests.
- 5 June – The Premiership confirms the league will recommence on 14 August with the remaining nine rounds taking place before the play-offs and final.
- 5 August – Six Nations dates are confirmed for men’s and women’s remaining fixtures.
- 14 August – Harlequins beat Sale Sharks in the first Premiership match for 159 days.
- 11 October – New Zealand draw with Australia in the first international since March, in front of 31,000 fans.
(via BBC Sport)
Are Autumn Internationals still happening?
Yes. But not as we know them.
A new, exciting tournament, The Autumn Nations Cup is starting on 13th November. The tournament includes all Six Nations sides, plus Georgia and Fiji.