Dates for the remaining Six Nations fixtures for women and men have been announced, although some venues and exact times are still to be confirmed.
The rescheduled fixtrues for the men are as follows:
Round 4 – 24/10/20
Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, tbc
Round 5 – 31/10/20
Wales v Scotland, tbc, 14:15
Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico, 16:45
France v Ireland, Stade de France, 20:00
Rumours persist that the Wales game may take place at Twickenham, with the Principality Stadium still in use as a field hospital. Whether that helps Scotland overcome either of their away bogey-venues (TM me) remains to be seen. Scotland could be boosted by the return to the fold of both Richie Gray and Finn Russell, who have been rumoured to be open to a return to international rugby after periods of (largely) self-imposed exile.
Scotland’s coaching staff have also had an adjustment ahead of the new “season” with the previous temporary appointments of Glasgow assistant coach John Dalziel (forwards) and Pieter De Villiers (scrum) made permanent.
With the scrum making leaps forwards during what we saw of the Six Nations earlier in the year, that looks like a great bit of business from the Scotland management.
With Danny Wilson set to take charge of the bulk of the forwards work at Glasgow, Kelly Brown has joined the pro-team as a breakdown-focused coach, returning to the club he left a decade ago.
The Six Nations fixtures will apparently be followed up with a new 8-team tournament including Fiji and Japan that will replace the Autumn Internationals but full details of that are yet to be announced. Competitive rugby in the autumn – can Scotland cope?
The Women’s Championship suffered more cancellations with Italy locking down earlier during the pandemic which means that Scotland’s ladies will be in action during all three rounds of rescheduled fixtures.
For them it will be a rare opportunity for a second block of high-intensity training and top-level fixtures in a year, so on one hand coach Philip Doyle will probably welcome that opportunity for his players. But with one of the team falling ill with Covid-19 earlier in the year, the potential dangers will be closer to home than for some.
Round 4 – Weekend of 24th Oct
Scotland v France
Ireland v Italy
Round 5 – Weekend of 31st Oct
Wales v Scotland
Italy v England
France v Ireland
Round 3 – Weekend of 5th Dec
Italy v Scotland
Finalised details will be issued “in due course”.
More discussion of the new coaching appointments can be found on the podcast.