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Everything you need to know about the Autumn Nations Cup

Everything you need to know about the Autumn Nations Cup

Everything you need to know about the Autumn Nations Cup

Eight teams will battle it out for glory over four weekends in a rugby extravaganza as the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup follows hot on the heels of the Six Nations.

The new tournament gets underway on Friday night as Wales travel to Dublin to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium before three more matches take place across the opening weekend.

In total, there will be 16 mouth-watering fixtures to keep you entertaining as we head into the winter months, with the action continuing throughout November and into the first week of December.

So whack the fire on, sit back, and enjoy what promises to be a frantic month of high-octane rugby action as eight nations bid to be crowned the very first Autumn Nations Cup champions.

What’s the format?

There are eight teams involved in the Autumn Nations Cup, with the six teams that compete in the Six Nations Championship joined by Fiji and Georgia for the unique format.

The teams have been split into two groups of four, who will then all play each other once over the next three weekends, before a final flurry of action on the first weekend of December.

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The final round will see the side’s that finish the same position in either group face-off, so first against first, second against second, and so on, to determine the overall standings.

Group A will consist of England, Georgia, Ireland and Wales, while Fiji, France Scotland and Italy will be battling it out for supremacy in Group B.

What will Fiji and Georgia bring?

In a word, power. Both sides have the capacity to dominate teams with their strength and bulk in the pack, as well as the sprinkling of quality that can light up a game.

Georgia will be looking to make their most of their opportunity to test themselves against some of Europe’s finest teams in their group, and have a number of players who could prove a challenge in the coming weeks.

Half-back pairing Tedo Abzhandadze and Gela Aprasidze both play their club rugby in France and can provide a spark for their team when required.

The Lelos will be looking to blood a number of promising younger players in the coming weeks, with young forwards Vano Karkadze and Ioane Iashagashvili ones to look out for, as well as winger Deme Tapladze.

Fiji will offer just as much with ball in hand in their matches in the Autumn Nations Cup, with the South Pacific side capable of producing pieces of magic when given the time and space to do so.

Regulars at the Rugby World Cup, we are all aware of the pace and power that the Fijians have in abundance, with a number of players who play their club rugby at Europe’s top clubs.

Bristol Bears star Semi Radradra, Glasgow Warriors lock Leone Nakarawa, and well-known wingers Nemani Nadolo and Josua Tuisova are all names to look out for, and with Vern Cotter calling the shots, they will be a well-drilled unit in defence.

What are the big games?

As with the Six Nations Championship, there are huge collisions everywhere you look at the Autumn Nations Cup, with every game certain to entertain across the next four weekends.

As competition curtain-raisers go, you can’t get much better than Ireland against Wales as the two international heavyweights renew their rivalry at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Andy Farrell’s men will be looking to return to action with a bang after the disappointment of missing out on the Six Nations title following their defeat in France in Paris.

Ireland were pipped to the Six Nations crown by England, who will get their own Autumn Nations Cup campaign underway against Georgia on November 14 at Twickenham.

The Lelos will be keen to make their mark after their late inclusion at the expense of Japan and what better stage than an opening game against the 2019 World Cup finalists?

Eddie Jones’ side will then face Ireland in Round 2 in what promises to be another thunderous encounter, one that could go some way to deciding who finishes in top spot of the group.

On the other side of the draw, Italy and Scotland get the action underway this Saturday, as Gregor Townsend takes his troops to Florence looking for a repeat of their 17-0 victory over the Azzurri earlier in the year.

The unpredictable force that is Fiji will no doubt conjure up all sorts of magic in their three matches in Group B, with Vern Cotter’s side getting their campaign started against France on Sunday.

Les Bleus are riding the crest of a wave following an impressive Six Nations, in which they finished second, and their entertaining brand of rugby should make for a thrilling game with Fiji.

Elsewhere, the Fijians could serve up a humdinger against the raw talent Franco Smith’s young Italy side, with 20-year-old fly-half Paolo Garbisi among those who excelled when the Six Nations resumed in October.

The action comes to a head on the weekend of December 5, where we could have all manner of fixtures lined up as Group A and Group B teams face-off to decide final placings.

We could see a repeat of the Six Nations Super Saturday showdown between Ireland and France or England may get a chance to avenge their own defeat to Les Bleus in February.

Whatever the match-ups on final weekend, it’s sure to be an enthralling watch.

Where can I watch it?

In the UK, the majority of the action will be on Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime will be showing 14 of the 16 matches while Channel 4 has the rights to show the opening match between Ireland and Wales, as well as England’s clash with Georgia.

Welsh language channel S4C has the rights to show Wales’ matches while RTE will show Ireland’s games in the Republic of Ireland, where Premier Sports will feature the remaining 12 games of the inaugural tournament.

Autumn Nations Cup Fixtures 2020

Group A

Ireland, Wales, England, Georgia

Group B

France, Fiji, Scotland, Italy

Round One

Friday 13 Nov, Ireland v Wales, 7pm, Aviva Stadium

Saturday 14 Nov, Italy v Scotland, 12.45pm, Stadio Artemio Franchi

Saturday 14 Nov, England v Georgia, 3pm, Twickenham

Sunday 15 Nov, France v Fiji, 3pm, Stade de la Rabine

Round Two

Saturday 21 Nov, Italy v Fiji, 12.45pm, Stadio del Conero

Saturday 21 Nov, England v Ireland, 3pm, Twickenham

Saturday 21 Nov, Wales v Georgia, 5.15pm, Parc y Scarlets

Sunday 22 Nov, Scotland v France, 3.15pm, BT Murrayfield

Round Three

Saturday 28 Nov, Scotland v Fiji, 1.45pm, BT Murrayfield

Saturday 28 Nov, Wales v England, 4pm, Parc y Scarlets

Saturday 28 Nov, France v Italy, 8.10pm, Stade de France

Sunday 29 Nov, Ireland v Georgia, 2pm, Aviva Stadium

Finals

Saturday 5 Dec, Georgia v TBD, midday, BT Murrayfield

Saturday 5 Dec, Ireland v TBD, 2.15pm, Aviva Stadium

Saturday 5 Dec, Wales v TBD, 4.45pm, Parc y Scarlets

Sunday 6 Dec, England v TBD, 2pm, Twickenham

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