This year’s championship will take place in April

New format for 2021 Women’s Six Nations

The 2021 Women’s Six Nations will take place in a new format on back-to-back weekends in April.

The championship is usually played concurrently with the men’s Six Nations but was postponed last month due to the challenges around Covid-19 restrictions, particularly with the majority of players involved amateur.

This year’s Women’s Six Nations will now take place in a condensed format – similar to that used in the Autumn Nations Cup – over four weekends, starting on 3-4 April.

Rather than all six teams playing each other, they will be split into two pools of three and play one match at home and another away. Results in those matches will determine standings in the pool and teams will then face the country ranked in the same position in the other group on finals weekend, 24-25 April.

England, who have won back-to-back Grand Slams, are in Pool A alongside Italy and Scotland while Pool B consists of France, Ireland and Wales.

The breakdown of fixtures is below…

New format for 2021 Women’s Six Nations

Each country will have a ‘bye’ weekend as they play two fewer fixtures than a traditional Six Nations, with organisers pointing to a congested calendar as the reason for a condensed format for 2021.

Six Nations Rugby CEO Ben Morel said: “We see huge opportunity for growth in the women’s game in particular and feel it will benefit hugely from having its own specific window and being firmly placed in the limelight.

“A significant challenge we faced in rescheduling the women’s tournament was the limited available window due to World Cup Qualifiers, domestic leagues, rest periods and World Cup preparations for qualified teams.

“Following consultation with our unions and federations as well as other key stakeholders, it was agreed that April would be the best window in which to stage the championship.”

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