2024 Six Nations Schedule
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2nd February 2024- France vs Ireland- Stade Velodrome, Marseille
3rd February 2024- Italy vs England- Stadio Olimpico, Rome
3rd February 2024- Wales vs Scotland, Millenium Stadium, Cardiff
10th February 2024- Scotland vs France, Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
10th February 2024- England vs Wales, Twickenham Stadium, London
11th February 2024- Ireland vs Italy, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
24th February 2024- Ireland vs Wales, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
24th February 2024- Scotland vs England- Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
25th February 2024- France vs Italy- Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
9th March 2024- Italy vs Scotland- Stadio Olimpico, Rome
9th March 2024- England vs Ireland- Twickenham Stadium, London
10th March 2024- Wales vs France- Millenium Stadium, Cardiff
16th March 2024- Wales vs Italy- Millenium Stadium, Cardiff
16th March 2024- Ireland vs Scotland- Aviva Stadium, Dublin
16th March 2024- France vs England- Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines- Charpieu
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2024 Six Nations Preview
With the 2023 Rugby World Cup in the rear-view mirror, it is important to look forwards to the start of what feels like a brand new Six Nations. While the format is pretty much identical, there are going to be a lot of changes heading into this tournament.
The one important thing which you will want to look out for with every team in the tournament is how they can bounce back from the Rugby World Cup. As a whole, Northern Hemisphere teams disappointed in France. Somehow, England were the only Six Nations team to make it to the semi-finals, losing to eventual champions South Africa.
France and Ireland in particular will be looking to impress after they both disappointed at the tournament. France will be looking to avenge their disappointment from a year ago, while Ireland are looking to defend their Grand Slam title. Scotland had a difficult Rugby World Cup, mainly down to the pool they were put in.
But with the changes taking place at other teams, Scotland could look to improve on their exceptional performance last year. After an impressive World Cup performance where they reached the semi-finals, Steve Borthwick will want to build this new England team, starting with the Six Nations.
Wales are also a team going through a lot of change, so you would imagine that this tournament will be seen as a building process for them. Similarly, Italy will be looking to build. They were one of the big disappointments of the Rugby World Cup and so need to bounce back in 2024.
One of the small changes to the format is where France will host their three home games. With the Stade de France being prepared for the 2024 Summer Olympics, France will play all of their games at different venues. Their biggest game of the tournament is hosting Ireland, which will take place at the Stade Velodrome.
The schedule has benefitted France, Wales and Ireland who will all have three home games for the 2024 Six Nations. The tournament ends with a big weekend as well. Wales host Italy, while Ireland host Scotland and France host England.
It is clear that France and Ireland are the teams to watch heading into the tournament. But considering all of the change that is going on with rugby at the moment, this is not going to be an easy tournament to predict.
Ireland Six Nations Preview
Defending champions Ireland are looking to repeat in 2024. Andy Farrell coached Ireland to their second Grand Slam in five years in 2023 and it looked like the perfect Rugby World Cup preparation. Ireland looked like the best team in the tournament throughout and benefitted from having their game against France at home.
But at the tournament, Ireland disappointed a lot more than people expected. Despite beating the All Blacks in New Zealand last year, they still lost to the Kiwi’s in the quarterfinals. For the best Irish team possibly in World Cup history to not make it past the quarters was a massive disappointment.
It was a tough result for Ireland to take as they were ranked as the number one team in the world heading into the tournament. The draw just really did not benefit Ireland and they paid the price for it. The Irish team is going to look slightly different in 2024.
The headline is that this will be the first Six Nations in a long time where Ireland don’t have Johnny Sexton at 10. Sexton retired after the Rugby World Cup and it looks like Jack Crowley is going to be the man to replace him. There is a lot of pressure on Crowley’s shoulders as this is still a very talented Irish team.
The good thing for Ireland is that the majority of the rest of the team will be pretty similar. A lot of this team are still in their prime and so Ireland have a very strong team heading into the tournament. The game in France will be massive for Ireland as they look to rebuild off the back of a disappointing tournament.
France Six Nations Preview
It can’t have been easy for French fans to watch Siya Kolisi lift the Rugby World Cup trophy in Paris. France had one of their best World Cup teams in years and had the French crowd behind them. They even had Antoine Dupont return for the knockout stages after breaking a bone in his face.
But despite all of that, France still fell short of winning their first Rugby World Cup title. They lost to eventual champions South Africa in the quarterfinals and missed out on a huge opportunity. Head coach Fabien Galthie seems like he is going to be the man to continue to lead France forward.
One of the things that France will be pleased about is that the squad that took them to the Rugby World Cup is a relatively young one. Uini Atonio and Romain Taofifenua are the two headline names to have retired from international duty after the tournament.
What is going to make thing even tougher for France is that they will be missing at least a few key players. With the 2024 Olympics taking place in Paris, Antoine Dupont will miss the Six Nations to prepare to represent his country in Sevens Rugby. There are rumours that he will be joined by more French internationals.
This could be a big blow for France, particularly as this looks like a great opportunity for them to take back their Six Nations title. Losing multiple internationals is very difficult but losing Dupont is particularly tough. They should have Romain Ntamack back from injury which will make a big difference.
France need to perform. They have a squad where the majority of their team are going to be at the 2027 Rugby World Cup. There is a lot of talent and France will want to put their disappointing tournament behind them.
Scotland Six Nations Preview
As you might expect, Scotland are heading into this tournament in a strange position. They needed a miracle performance just to get to the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup and could not perform. Despite that, they have stuck with Gregor Townsend.
Townsend certainly deserves the faith that Scotland have shown in him. The 2023 Six Nations showed how far they had come, finishing third behind just France and Ireland. While they did not impress at the Rugby World Cup, this is still an incredibly exciting Scottish team.
With no Stuart Hogg, Scotland will look different at the Six Nations. At the time of writing there has not been any announcements of more of the Scottish squad retiring. Players like WP Nel, Richie Gray, Chris Harris and Hamish Watson are the wrong side of 30, so they could be looking at their last Six Nations.
But what Scotland fans will want to focus on is the depth of talent they have that will still be in their prime at the next Rugby World Cup. You would imagine that we will see more of youngsters like Ewan Ashman, Ollie Smith, Rory Darge and Cameron Redpath. But I think that Scotland will realise there is much more on the line for them.
With Wales and England not at their best and France possibly missing multiple stars, this could be a great chance for Scotland to go one place better than 2023. If they are going to launch a charge at winning the Six Nations then 2024 might be the one to do it.
Scotland have both France and England at home which you would imagine will be two games that they are desperate to win. If they can win those two as well as defeating Italy and Wales, it might set up a Grand Slam decider in Round 5 at the Aviva in Dublin. It is an unlikely story, but crazier things have happened.
So the 2024 Six Nations will certainly be an exciting one for the Scottish team. The opportunities for a surprise result are there and this feels like a team which is very set.
England Six Nations Preview
I don’t think many people expected England to be the best performing northern hemisphere team at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Even less people would have predicted England to finish third, with some impressive performances throughout the tournament.
There were some questions before the tournament as to whether Borthwick would even be the coach of the team at the 2024 Six Nations. But his place is confirmed as England head coach and we will certainly see a new era of England Rugby starting with the Six Nations.
England are arguably the team who will look the most different at the 2024 Six Nations. With the financial issues that are going on in the Premiership at the moment, quite a few of England’s squad have made the career move to France. Most of those players will now be ineligible to play for their country.
So Steve Borthwick has some tough decisions to make. Guys who went to the Rugby World Cup like Joe Marchant and Dave Ribbans now can’t be picked. Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and Johnny May have all retired after the tournament, so they will all need replacing in this new look England side.
There are also still a huge amount of questions about this England team moving forward. The main one is who starts at 10 for England. George Ford played brilliantly throughout the tournament before being replaced by captain Owen Farrell. Both are the wrong side of 30, while Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith is yet to find his position in the team.
We need to see who will replace Courtney Lawes in the back row, while Johnny May needs replacing on the wing. There is a very good chance that we will see a much younger England team at the 2024 Six Nations.
It is very difficult to predict how England will perform at the 2024 Six Nations. They overperformed at the Rugby World Cup and are now looking to reinvent themselves. England are still not playing exciting rugby and it is difficult to see where they are going to go moving forward.
England may use the tournament to sort out their identity, as well as work out a starting team that they can move forwards with. It will be a test of some new players, while others will get their opportunity to become Stallworth’s in this new England side.
Wales Six Nations Preview
Another team who many believed exceeded expectations at the Rugby World Cup were Wales. While they would have been massively disappointed to lose to Argentina in the quarterfinals, some didn’t expect to see Wales even get out of the pool stage. The fact they upset Australia was very impressive.
With all of the chaos still going on at the WRU, Wales are looking for a reset at this Six Nations. One of the things that Wales fans will be excited about is that the tournament did highlight a few exciting young players. Jac Morgan excelled at the Rugby World Cup and he seems to be the man to captain Wales in the future.
There were similarly impressive performances from youngsters like Tommy Reffell, Christ Tshiunza, Dewi Lake and Dafydd Jenkins. Particularly in the forwards, Wales have a brilliant crop of young players making their way through the ranks. There will not be as much change to the forwards unit.
However, Wales have some interesting calls to make in their backs division. Dan Biggar retiring is huge for Welsh rugby. His impact on so many successful teams often goes underrated and suddenly there is a big gap at 10.
The experienced Gareth Anscombe will likely play stop gap, while Sam Costelow seems like the future. He was in the squad for the Rugby World Cup and came off the bench in the quarter-final defeat.
Leigh Halfpenny also retired following the Rugby World Cup. Quarter-final starters Liam Williams and George North are both the wrong side of 30, so the Six Nations could be the time where Warren Gatland looks to freshen things up in the backs.
There is a lot more optimism in Welsh Rugby now than there was prior to the Rugby World Cup. It seems like Warren Gatland has a plan for the future and Wales can get back to near their best in the future. Don’t be massively surprised if Wales take a big step forward in the 2024 Six Nations.
Italy Six Nations preview
The odds were stacked against Italy at the Rugby World Cup, but they put in some embarrassing performances in the pool stage. Many hoped that they could at least give France and New Zealand close games, but they were nowhere near their best.
It feels like all of the momentum that Italy had built up has all gone now. They have been moving in the right direction under Kieran Crowley, but his time with the team ended poorly and Italy will be under new leadership in the 2024 Rugby World Cup.
Former Racing and Stade Francais head coach Gonzalo Quesada takes over. So while this may seem like a new era, Italy should stick to their plan. The squad that went to the Rugby World Cup was one of the youngest in the tournament.
Crucial players like Paolo Garbisi, Michele Lamaro, Ange Capuozzo, Lorenzo Cannone and Danilo Fishcetti are not even older than 25. Italy need to remember that they have a very young squad that is only going to continue to get better.
This tournament is very important for Italy. With new leadership, Italy need to show that they are still tracking to improve with a young squad. As long as Italy don’t panic and remember the things that brought them success in the past, then they will be a challenging fixture throughout this tournament.
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