Eddie Jones’s side will travel to Rome on 31 October to face Italy, who sit bottom of the table and look destined to finish up with the Wooden Spoon once again. In stark contrast, England are favourites to win the delayed championship, although Ireland and France remain in the hunt with four games left to play.
With Ireland’s penultimate match against Italy due to take place at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on 24 October at a kick-off time to be confirmed, all three teams will know what they have to do to win the Six Nations when they head into ‘Super Saturday’.
The final day of the tournament will begin seven and a half months later than planned with Wales’s clash against Scotland, though the location of the match is yet to be decided as the Welsh Rugby Union is expected to relocate games if they have to be played behind closed doors.
With the opening match kicking off at 2:15pm, Italy then host England at 4:45 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, before France and Ireland battle it out at the Stade de France from 8pm in a clash that will decide who claims the championship.
“We will prepare well and expect a tough game in Rome,” said Jones after the games were confirmed. We are grateful for the opportunity to represent England again – we want to make our fans proud.”
The Six Nations remains hopeful that fans can attend the rescheduled matches in some capacity, although that will depend on the different restrictions in force across Ireland, Wales, Italy and France, and it could prove the case that grounds are opened on a restricted basis to home supporters only, if at all.
“Public health remains the number one priority and while we must continue to be vigilant and cognisant of the dynamic and fast changing external environment, we are nonetheless extremely pleased to be moving in the right direction,” said Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel.
“We are absolutely thrilled to make this announcement today. Whilst the past few months have been extremely challenging, we have always remained hopeful of concluding this year’s tournament and we are really looking forward to the final games in the Men’s and Women’s Championships. There is still so much to play for, and we are hugely excited for what lies ahead.”
The Women’s Six Nations will resume across the same two weekends, although with Italy due to play an additional fixture against Scotland, the tournament will not be completed until that game takes place on the weekend of 5/6 December.
It was also confirmed that the Six Nations are planning their own autumn tournament alongside “two other international teams”, understood to be Fiji and Japan, which will replace the autumn internationals that were originally scheduled through November.