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Here are the all-important Six Nations diary dates for Ireland's 2020 campaign

By James Fenton

January 16, 2020 at 12:01pm

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It's the dawn of a new era for the Ireland rugby team with incoming head coach Andy Farrell taking the helm for this year's Six Nations.

Joe Schmidt's reign ended in disappointment with an underwhelming display at the World Cup in Japan which culminated in defeat to New Zealand at the quarter-final stage. Captain Rory Best has followed Schmidt into the sunset, with Johnny Sexton taking over on-pitch leadership duties for the Six Nations campaign.

Now, it's fair to say that the opening paragraphs to this piece are slightly more pessimistic than last year's equivalent but to borrow Steven Gerrard's infamous words, "we go again."

After yesterday's squad announcement (below), preparations are very much underway for what is sure to be a highly-competitive Six Nations campaign. With Wales having reached the World Cup semi-finals and England performing very impressively before coming unstuck in the final against South Africa, those two sides are sure to provide Ireland's sternest tests.

That might be a bit unfair to Scotland though, who have improved over the past couple of years, even if Ireland made light work of them in our World Cup clash back in September, coming out on top by a score of 27-3.

It's the Scots who will we kick off our campaign against and you can see the full list of Ireland's 2020 Six Nations fixtures below:

IRELAND v Scotland - Saturday February 1, Aviva Stadium - 4.45pm

IRELAND v Wales - Saturday, February 8, Aviva Stadium - 2.15pm

England v IRELAND - Sunday, February 23, Twickenham - 3pm

IRELAND v Italy - Saturday, March 7, Aviva Stadium - 2.15pm

France v IRELAND - Saturday, March 14, Stade de France - 8pm

A Saturday night game in Paris on Paddy's Weekend with honours still up for grabs sounds like a tantalising prospect and you'd do well to get elbow room in any of Dublin's pubs. Still, it'll all be worth it if we can get our hands on the Six Nations trophy once again.

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