Six Nations to resume in October

The Six Nations will resume in October. Photo: Getty Images
The Six Nations will resume in October. Photo: Getty Images
The remaining rounds of the Six Nations Championship will be played on October 24 and 31.

World Rugby approved dates for the temporary 2020 COVID-19 calendar today.

The World Rugby Council approved an adjustment to allow the release of players for new international windows after the pandemic forced the sport's suspension in March.

The Council approved the release of players for the window between October 24 and the first weekend of December.

The final rounds of the men's and women's Six Nations will be followed by a rest weekend on November 7 and then four consecutive rounds of international matches, World Rugby said in a statement.

This year's Six Nations saw four matches postponed due to the pandemic.

England are top of the standings with 13 points, ahead of France on points difference. All teams have one game left to play apart from Ireland and Italy, who have two.

England also topped the women's Six Nations standings before the tournament was suspended, with the unbeaten Red Roses one win away from a second consecutive Grand Slam.

World Rugby also approved a window from November 7 to the second week of December for the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship.

The southern hemisphere's governing body SANZAAR had confirmed New Zealand as its preferred host for the annual competition after the country virtually eliminated the coronavirus domestically.

"Special measures will need to be implemented to deal with any government-required isolation period prior to the start of the competition," World Rugby said.

The governing body added that the rescheduling of domestic, European and international calendars would allow professional clubs to play their southern hemisphere international players when they complete the 2019-20 season.

Yet English Premiership chiefs had expressed concerns last week regarding the decision to stage test matches in November and December.

The new window would leave English top-flight clubs without their overseas players for one week of domestic matches and the opening round of the European Champions Cup as next season's Premiership is slated to start on November 20. 

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