When does the Six Nations 2023 start? Schedule, fixtures, latest odds, how to watch rugby union series on TV

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France enter the Six Nations Championship as defending champions but they are expected to face strong competition from Ireland this year

The 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship is fast approaching and the tournament will see Europe’s elite sides face off one more time before the World Cup.

France enter the annual competition as defending champions. Les Bleus achieved their first championship since 2010 last year, whilst also completing the Grand Slam. Fabian Galthie’s side are aiming to retain the title and keep momentum ahead of the 2023 World Cup campaign on home soil.

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England and Wales both enter the competition with new head coaches at the helm with Steve Borthwick and Warren Gatland respectively. But when does the Six Nations get underway and which channels are showing the action?

Here is everything you need to know ahead of a blockbuster year of rugby.

What is the Six Nations Championship 2023?

The Six Nations Championship is an annual rugby union competition which is contested by the national teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The tournament is the successor to the Home Nations Championship which featured England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and the Five Nations Championship which included France.

Wales were the Six Nations winners in 2021. (Getty Images)Wales were the Six Nations winners in 2021. (Getty Images)
Wales were the Six Nations winners in 2021. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

It has been known as the Six Nations Championship since 2000 when Italy joined the competition. England are the most successful nation in the Six Nations era with seven titles in the last 22 years. They will be aiming to win the competition for the first time since 2020.

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When does the Six Nations 2023 start?

The Six Nations 2023 will get underway on Saturday 4 February and the tournament will run until Saturday 18 March. The tournament follows a league format and each team will play their five opponents on one occasion.

Schedule

Round 1

Saturday 4 February

  • Wales vs Ireland - 2.15pm (BBC One) and S4C)
  • England vs Scotland - 4.45pm (ITV1)

Sunday 5 February

  • Italy vs France - 3pm (ITV1)

Round 2

Saturday 11 February

  • Ireland vs France - 2.15pm (ITV1)
  • Scotland vs Wales - 4.45pm (BBC One and S4C)

Sunday 12 February

  • England vs Italy - 3pm (ITV1)

Round 3

Saturday 25 February

  • Italy vs Ireland - 2.15pm (ITV1)
  • Wales vs England - 4.45pm (BBC One and S4C)

Sunday 26 February

  • France vs Scotland - 3pm (ITV1)

Round 4

Saturday 11 March

  • Italy vs Wales - 2.15pm (ITV1)
  • England vs France - 4.45pm (ITV1 and BBC One)

Sunday 12 March

  • Scotland vs Ireland - 3pm (BBC One and S4C)

Round 5

Saturday 18 March

  • Scotland vs Italy - 12.30pm (BBC One and S4C)
  • France vs Wales - 2.45pm (ITV1)
  • Ireland vs England - 5pm (ITV1)

Who are the favourites to win the Six Nations 2023?

Ireland are viewed as the bookmakers’ favourites to win the Six Nations Championship. Andy Farrell’s side were runners-up in last year’s tournament but are tipped to go one better this time around. They last won the trophy in 2018.

Defending champions France are also heavily tipped for success this time around. The defending champions will be desperate to build momentum before hosting the World Cup later this year.

Meanwhile, Italy are seen as firm outsiders and sixth favourites for glory. They are yet to lift the Six Nations Championship since joining the competition in 2000.

Here are the bookmakers odds to win the tournament according to Sky Bet. (Odds correct as of Tuesday 17 January)

  • Ireland - 11/8
  • France - 6/4
  • England - 9/2
  • Wales - 12/1
  • Scotland - 20/1
  • Italy - 500/1

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