Next year’s Six Nations will be launched with a show-piece encounter under lights between the world’s top two teams — as France will host Ireland on Friday, February 2, 2024.
The marquee fixture will kick-off at 8pm UK time, but as yet the venues for that and France’s other home matches are still being decided.
While last year’s Grand Slam champions normally play at the Stade de France; that is off-limits as it is being prepared to become the centrepiece of the Olympics in Paris next summer.
England will be away from home for “Le Crunch” as the culmination of their campaign on March 16, 2024 and the national team may find themselves in familiar surroundings.
It is understood that Stade Velodrome in Marseille is under consideration to host France’s matches and the towering, revamped arena which holds 66 000 fans is where Steve Borthwick’s side will contest their World Cup opener against Argentina in September — and return for a likely quarter-final weeks later.
In round one of the next annual European championship, England will take on Italy in Rome — on February 3, at 2.15pm UK time.
Next they will host Wales at Twickenham with a late afternoon kick-off on February 10, followed by a clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on February 24, also starting in the prime 4.45pm slot.
Ireland will come to south west London on March 9, meaning that four of England’s 2024 fixtures are on Saturday afternoons.
Wales will finish with Italy in Cardiff on March 16 (2.15pm kick-off) in the hope that the Azzurri don’t ambush them there as they did last year.
That fixture is the first instalment of the grandstand “Super Saturday” programme which has become a traditional finale of the tournament — followed by Ireland versus Scotland (4.45pm kick-off) in Dublin and the France-England (8pm kick-off) showdown hours later.
Defending champions will play all of their home games away from the Stade de France as the venue prepares for the Paris Olympics. — dailymail