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Paris opener for Six Nations

Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:26
France-anthem France-general

England and France will face off in the opening match of the 2014 Six Nations championship, organisers revealed on Tuesday.

While France, recipients of the 2013 Six Nations wooden spoon, host England on February 1, champions Wales will get their bid for a third successive title off the ground against Italy in Cardiff.

Ireland host Scotland in Dublin to complete the opening batch of 2014 games.

As in 2013, the final round of matches will take place on the same day with staggered kick-offs. England visit Italy, Wales host Scotland, and France welcome Ireland to Paris.

The 2015 tournament opens with an appetising Friday-night game between Wales and England in Cardiff, with Italy hosting Ireland and France taking on Scotland the following day.

Announcing the fixtures Bill Beaumont, Chairman of the Six Nations Council, commented on the tournament's history and traditions inherent in the world's oldest and largest annual premier rugby tournament.

He said: "Today the Six Nations Championship is the focus of rugby and sports supporters all over the world, particularly over those seven weekends in February and March.

"This year we saw over one million people attend the 15 matches, making it still the best attended international rugby tournament in the world on a per match basis.

"Record numbers also watched on TV in over 160 countries, in particular we saw all time high BBC audiences in the UK. (Live global TV broadcast hours have increased six-fold since 2010)."

Six Nations 2014 fixtures:

Saturday, February 1
Wales v Italy
France v England

Sunday, February 2
Ireland v Scotland

Saturday, February 8
Ireland v Wales
Scotland v England

Sunday, February 9
France v Italy

Saturday, March 8
Ireland v Italy
Scotland v France

Sunday, March 9
England v Wales

Saturday, March 15
Italy v England
Wales v Scotland
France v Ireland

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