England host Scots first

England will kick off next year’s Six Nations at home to Scotland, with Wales entertaining Ireland first up.

The Twickenham game follows the opening match of the tournament – Italy against France in Rome on Saturday 3 February – with the Cardiff clash the next day.

The 2007 tournament will feature two “Super Saturdays”, in the third and fifth round of matches. The third round, on 24 February, will conclude with Wales taking on France in Paris.

The final match of the tournament, on 17 March, will see Wales take on England in Cardiff. Next year’s tournament will also feature a new venue, with Ireland moving from their old home at Lansdowne Road to the 82,000 capacity Croke Park in Dublin.

The Irish will entertain France on 10 February and England a fortnight later, while Wales travel to Edinburgh and Rome as well as Paris.

England have two home games, the second against Italy, before they have to travel to Dublin, and host France at Twickenam before heading to Cardiff for the tournament finale.

Scotland coach Frank Hadden has welcomed the fact that all his side’s fixtures are on a Saturday. “That makes our preparation much easier,” he said. “I’m also pleased for the supporters because I know how important it is for those travelling to support Scotland, whether away or at Murrayfield, to have the games on a Saturday,” Hadden told the BBC.