Six Nations will finalise timings and formats for the Women’s and U20s competitions by the end of January

Women’s Six Nations moved to “spring or early summer”

The Women’s Six Nations has been postponed until “later this spring or early summer”, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact global sport.

Tournament organisers announced on Wednesday that the Under 20s Six Nations will also be rescheduled, adding that they expect to announce full details of timings and formats for both competitions by the end of this month.

Ben Morel, the Six Nations CEO, said: “We are fiercely committed to the promotion and development of rugby at all levels, particularly the women’s game where we see such exciting opportunity for growth. This is not a decision that we rushed into and we are confident that in looking at a new later window, we will be in a far stronger position to deliver two fantastic tournaments, delivering exciting rugby for fans, and ensuring the safest possible environment in which to stage them for our players.”

With the majority of players in the women’s tournament amateur, organisers had to consider issues with bubbles and testing.

Back in November, the European qualification tournament for the upcoming Women’s World Cup was indefinitely postponed due to ongoing travel restrictions. The event was due to be contested by three Six Nations sides – Ireland, Italy and Scotland – plus the winner of the postponed Rugby Europe Women’s Championship, with the winner earning a place for the World Cup.

This latest push-back in the Six Nations means there is less time to sort out qualifiers. It also impacts on repechage/final qualifying tournament as the runner-up of this round-robin would have then competed in for that final spot.

Six Nations organisers also confirmed that plans to stage the men’s Six Nations will remain as scheduled.

As it stands, the men’s tournament will kick off as expected, with Italy versus France on 6th February.

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