Six Nations Rugby 2020: Everything you need to know

The Six Nations tournament is billed as "rugby's greatest championship" and 2020 is set to be no different.

Here's a rundown of all you need to know about this year's championship.

  • When does the Six Nations 2020 kick off?

The first game of the tournament gets underway on Saturday 1 February, with Wales v Italy in Cardiff's Principality Stadium followed by Ireland v Scotland in Dublin.

England will have to wait until 2 February for their first touch of the ball - they face a tough start against France is Paris.

The tournament runs for five rounds, with the final day of action on Saturday 14 March. The last game of the tournament will see Ireland take on France in Paris.

All of the women's games kick-off on 2 February, with the lineup for who's taking on who mirroring that of the men's tournament.

See below for a full list of fixtures and results.

  • Where can I watch the action?

Six Nations coverage is shared between ITV and BBC. You can watch all of England, Ireland and Italy's Guinness Six Nations home matches live on ITV and the ITV Hub.

As well as coverage of the Six Nations on free-to-air television you can also follow the best of the action on ITV Rugby's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

A range of regional and subscription television channels broadcast the women's games. The Women's Six Nations also has a livestream of the action from their Facebook page.

The 2020 Six Nations coaches alongside the trophy they want to get their hands on. Credit: PA
  • Who's new in charge this year?

Four teams will have new coaches going into this year's Six Nations.

Reigning champions Wales have a new head coach, with Wayne Pivac taking up the reins following Warren Gatland's 12-year tenure.

Pivac might be a New Zealander by birth but he'll be used to Welsh rugby culture having joined the Scarlets coaching team in 2014.

Andy Farrell starts his first Six Nations in charge of Ireland after Joe Schmidt announced his retirement from coaching following the 2019 World Cup.

Farrell, who was capped as a player by England in both union and league codes, is considered one of the best defence coaches in world rugby.

Andy Farrell takes over as Head Coach of Ireland alongside Captain Johnny Sexton. Credit: PA

Italy too begin their campaign with new leadership, South African Franco Smith was appointed as head coach on an interim basis in November.

The former Benetton Rugby and Toyota Cheetahs coach replaces Conor O’Shea who left the role after the World Cup.

While France will hope for their first success in the Championship since 2010 under new head coach Fabien Galthié.

The former France scrum-half replaced Jacques Brunel as head coach, again, after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Ex-Wales assistant coach Sean Edwards is also part of the coaching set-up.

  • Any controversies on the cards?

As always, there will be plenty to look out for this 2020 Six Nations tournament.

Alongside the introduction of new coaches, four teams will also be led out by first-time captains, Luca Bigi for Italy, Johnny Sexton for Ireland, Stuart Hogg for Scotland, and Charles Ollivon for France. All of whom will be keen to prove their leadership skills.

Off the pitch, the rugby world has been rocked by controversy in recent weeks with reigning English and European rugby champions Saracens relegated from the Premiership.

Despite questions this could be a distraction to Saracens players in England's international squad, head coach Eddie Jones said the controversy was an opportunity for his players to "get better".

Meanwhile, the women's tournament opens in the shadow of a new study which found the Six Nations the worst offender for a difference in the gender prize money gap in sport between men and women.

The data gathered by workplace equality champions Work180 found the winners of the men's event will receive £5 million this year while the victorious women's team will get nothing.

Six Nations and World Rugby have been contacted for comment.

England romped to a Grand Slam Six Nations victory in 2019. Credit: PA
  • Will the coronavirus outbreak affect the tournament?

Since the tournament began, the spread of the new coronavirus has impacted travel and large sporting events - including the Six Nations.

Two fixtures against Italy - the country that has seen the largest outbreak of the viral pneumonia in Europe - have been postponed.

In a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19 Ireland's match against Italy in Dublin has been pushed back, as has England's final fixture of the tournament - against Italy in Rome.

Road blocks are in place around a handful of quarantined towns in northern Italy. Credit: AP

Following a meeting on 2 March, organisers - as well as the unions and federations - said: "Six Nations intends to complete all 15 games across all three Championships when time allows, but we will refrain from making any rescheduling announcements for the time being while we keep assessing the situation."

The full list of fixtures and winners from the 2020 Six Nations:

  • Wales v Italy, Saturday 1 February

  • Ireland v Scotland, Saturday 1 February 16:45

  • France v England, Sunday 2 February 15:00

  • Ireland v Wales, Saturday 8 February 14:15

  • Scotland v England, Saturday 8 February 16:45

  • France v Italy, Sunday 9 February 15:00

  • Italy v Scotland, Saturday 22 February 14:15

  • Wales v France, Saturday 22 February 16:45

  • England v Ireland, Sunday 23 February 15:00

  • Ireland v Italy, Saturday 7 March 14:15 - postponed

  • England v Wales, Saturday 7 March 16:45

  • Scotland v France, Sunday 8 March 15:00

  • Wales v Scotland, Saturday 14 March 14:15 - postponed

  • Italy v England, Saturday 14 March 16:45 - postponed

  • France v Ireland, Saturday 14 March 20:00 - postponed