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Rugby News

Thursday 21st April 2022

Six Nations: Wales v Ireland to open 2023 tournament

Wales will play Ireland in Cardiff in the first match of the 2023 Six Nations, with England travelling to Dublin in the tournament's last game.

Ireland, who finished second in this year's table, entertain champions France in the second round of matches.

Italy, who won their first match in the tournament since 2015 by beating Wales in Cardiff last month, play Wayne Pivac's men at home on 11 March.

There is no repeat of the Friday night fixture that returned in 2022.

Wales played France at the Principality Stadium on Friday 11 March in front of a crowd of about 63,000, some 11,000 short of capacity.

The tournament runs from 4 February to 18 March.

Six Nations fixtures 2023 (all times GMT)

Saturday 4 February
Wales v Ireland (14:15)
England v Scotland (16:45)

Sunday 5 February
Italy v France (15:00)

Saturday 11 February
Ireland v France (14:15)
Scotland v Wales (16:45)

Sunday 12 February
England v Italy (15:00)

Saturday 25 February
Italy v Ireland (14:15)
Wales v England (16:45)

Sunday 26 February
France v Scotland (15:00)

Saturday 11 March
Italy v Wales (14:15)
England v France (16:45)

Sunday 12 March
Scotland v Ireland (15:00)

Saturday 18 March
Scotland v Italy (12:30)
France v Wales (14:45)
Ireland v England (17:00)


England clinch dramatic 27-26 win over South Africa at Twickenham

England signed off on 2021 in style as they outfoxed and outfought 2019 Rugby World Cup final conquerors South Africa in front of a rapturous Twickenham crowd.

England had leapt out to a 17-6 lead midway through the first half as Manu Tuilagi and Freddie Steward crossed for the hosts.

But Handre Pollard's boot kept the Boks in the fight as they turned the screw after the break.

Raffi Quirke finished off an incisive attack for England, but the world champions' mix of rock-solid mentality and physicality seemed to have won it when Makazole Mapimpi went over out wide on 69 minutes.

However, England fought to the death, as head coach Eddie Jones predicted they would have to, and fly-half Marcus Smith held his nerve to slot the decisive penalty in the 79th minute.

After a miserable fifth-place finish in the Six Nations earlier this year, the scalp of the world number ones and world champions is the biggest validation yet of the head coach's tactical reboot.

As Smith finally booted the ball dead after a nerve-jangling wait for referee Andrew Brace to rule on an aerial contest in the shadow of England's posts in the final passage of play, it felt like a landmark win.

One that points the way away from 2019's defeat in Yokohama and towards the promise of what might be in France in 2023.


Eddie Jones signs new deal through to 2023 World Cup

Eddie Jones has agreed a contract extension to coach England through to the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023.

The 60-year-old's current contract was due to expire in August 2021, but he had been set for a new deal since leading England to the World Cup final last year.

Jones has a 78% win ratio since taking the role at the end of 2015.

Jones was appointed in December 2015, replacing Stuart Lancaster after a disappointing home World Cup that autumn.

He led England to a record-equalling unbeaten run, which included a Grand Slam in 2016 and a Six Nations title the year after.

The team's form slumped in 2018, but Jones arrested the slide before the World Cup in Japan.

There, superb victories over Australia in the quarter-finals and New Zealand in the semi-finals established Jones' men as favourites to beat South Africa in the final, but an inspired Springboks performance condemned an under-par England to a 32-12 defeat.

Concerns over the impact of that loss in the final were exacerbated when England were beaten by France in Paris in their 2020 Six Nations opener, but they rallied with victories against Scotland, Ireland and Wales to seal the Triple Crown before the Championship was curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic.


2023 Rugby World Cup: South Africa recommended to host tournament

South Africa has been recommended to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup ahead of Ireland and France, the tournament's organising board has announced.

The World Rugby Council will meet on 15 November in London for a final vote.

South Africa, who won the 1995 cup as hosts after returning to international sport, were endorsed after reviews of each host candidate evaluation.