Europe’s finest are ready to battle it out for continental supremacy in one of rugby’s greatest tournaments
2020 Guinness Six Nations, from Saturday 1 February, BBC + ITV
As January morphs into February, it can mean only one thing – and we don’t mean you’ve somehow reached payday after the longest month ever (well done, though). We’re talking about one of the biggest annual events in the sporting calendar, the Guinness Six Nations!
There was a degree of inevitability about the 2019 Championship, as the mighty Wales clinched the Grand Slam in coach Warren Gatland’s final campaign at the helm. But that was then. This year’s tournament is full of uncertainty (in the best way possible) and all to play for.
For a start, the reigning champions have a new boss in former Scarlets and Fiji coach Wayne Pivac. (Yes, brace yourself for the sight of someone other than Gatland overseeing Wales from the stands). Can the holders help the Kiwi make an immediate impact in only his second international job? Never write off these ferocious dragons when there’s a point to prove.
It’s also a fresh dawn for four-time champions Ireland. With coach Andy Farrell now steering the ship following Joe Schmidt’s post-World Cup exit, the Irish will be keen to fire up this new era by reasserting their dominance on the European stage.
What about England? After the disappointment of losing the World Cup final, expect the Red Rose (and perpetually pugnacious coach Eddie Jones) to come out fighting. A new coaching set-up supporting Jones is shaking things up behind the scenes, while an irresistible raft of on-field talent makes England the favourites to go all the way for the first time since 2017.
Elsewhere, Gregor Townsend’s unpredictable Scotland have a tough start against Ireland and England in their opening two matches, while France and new coach Fabien Galthié are expected to hit refresh and make youth the order of the day in their revamped squad. And can Italy win their first Six Nations match since 2013? If not, a fifth consecutive wooden spoon beckons.
The 2020 Guinness Six Nations is almost ready for kick-off. Before the action starts this weekend with three unmissable matches, get up to speed with when and where to watch every single match with our handy fixtures guide…
How to watch the Six Nations on TV
TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.
HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.
ITV HD is subject to regional variation. ITV HD is not available where STV HD or UTV HD is available.