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2019/20 Season Fixtures & Results

2019/20 Season Fixtures.

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Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Gallagher Premiership

Round 1

Fri 18 Oct Bristol 43-16 Bath

Sat 19 Oct Exeter 22-19 Harlequins

Sat 19 Oct Sale 16-18 Gloucester

Sat 19 Oct Saracens 25-27 Northampton

Sat 19 Oct Worcester 24-16 Leicester

Sun 20 Oct Wasps 26-29 London Irish

Round 2

Fri 25 Oct Bath 13-10 Exeter

Sat 26 Oct Northampton 35-16 Worcester

Sat 26 Oct Gloucester 25-9 Wasps

Sat 26 Oct Harlequins 22-17 Bristol

Sat 26 Oct London Irish 7-41 Sale

Sun 27 Oct Leicester 10-24 Saracens

Round 3

Fri 1 Nov Northampton v Harlequins (7.45pm, BT Sport)

Fri 1 Nov Bristol v Sale (7.45pm)

Sat 2 Nov Leicester v Gloucester (3pm, BT Sport)

Sat 2 Nov Saracens v London Irish (3pm)

Sat 2 Nov Wasps v Bath (3pm)

Sun 3 Nov Worcester v Exeter (3pm, BT Sport)

Round 4

Fri 8 Nov Sale v Wasps (7.45pm, BT Sport)

Sat 9 Nov Bath v Northampton (3pm)

Sat 9 Nov Gloucester v Saracens (3pm, BT Sport)

Sat 9 Nov Harlequins v Worcester (3pm)

Sun 10 Nov London Irish v Leicester (2.30pm)

Sun 10 Nov Exeter v Bristol (3pm, BT Sport)

Round 5

Fri 29 Nov Bath v Saracens (7.45pm, BT Sport)

Sat 30 Nov Exeter v Wasps (3pm)

Sat 30 Nov Northampton v Leicester (3pm, BT Sport)

Sat 30 Nov Worcester v Sale (3pm)

Sun 1 Dec Bristol v London Irish (3pm)

Sun 1 Dec Harlequins v Gloucester (3pm, BT Sport)

Round 6

Fri 20 Dec Gloucester v Worcester (7.45pm, BT Sport)

Sat 21 Dec Leicester v Exeter (3pm, BT Sport)

Sat 21 Dec Sale v Northampton (3pm)

Sat 21 Dec Saracens v Bristol (3pm)

Sat 21 Dec Wasps v Harlequins (3pm)

Sun 22 Dec London Irish v Bath (3pm, BT Sport)

Round 7

Fri 27 Dec Bristol v Wasps (7.45pm, BT Sport)

Sat 28 Dec Northampton v Gloucester (2pm, BT Sport)

Sat 28 Dec Bath v Sale (3pm)

Sat 28 Dec Worcester v London Irish (3pm)

Sat 28 Dec Harlequins v Leicester (4.30pm, Twickenham Stadium, BT Sport)

Sun 29 Dec Exeter v Saracens (3pm, BT Sport)

Round 8

Fri 3 Jan Sale v Harlequins (7.45pm, BT Sport)

Sat 4 Jan Gloucester v Bath (3pm, BT Sport)

Sat 4 Jan Leicester v Bristol (3pm)

Sat 4 Jan Saracens v Worcester (3pm)

Sun 5 Jan London Irish v Exeter (2.30pm)

Sun 5 Jan Wasps v Northampton (3pm, BT Sport)

Round 9

24-26 Jan Bath v Leicester

24-26 Jan Bristol v Gloucester

24-26 Jan Exeter v Sale

24-26 Jan Harlequins v Saracens

24-26 Jan Northampton v London Irish

24-26 Jan Worcester v Wasps

Round 10

14-16 Feb Gloucester v Exeter

14-16 Feb Harlequins v London Irish

14-16 Feb Leicester v Wasps

14-16 Feb Northampton v Bristol

14-16 Feb Saracens v Sale

14-16 Feb Worcester v Bath

Round 11

21-23 Feb Bath v Harlequins

21-23 Feb Bristol v Worcester

21-23 Feb Exeter v Northampton

21-23 Feb London Irish v Gloucester

21-23 Feb Sale v Leicester

21-23 Feb Wasps v Saracens

Round 12

28 Feb-1 Mar Bath v Bristol

28 Feb-1 Mar Gloucester v Sale

28 Feb-1 Mar Harlequins v Exeter

28 Feb-1 Mar Leicester v Worcester

28 Feb-1 Mar London Irish v Wasps

28 Feb-1 Mar Northampton v Saracens

Round 13

6-8 Mar Bristol v Harlequins

6-8 Mar Exeter v Bath

6-8 Mar Sale v London Irish

6-8 Mar Saracens v Leicester

6-8 Mar Wasps v Gloucester

6-8 Mar Worcester v Northampton

Round 14

20-22 Mar Bath v London Irish

20-22 Mar Bristol v Saracens

20-22 Mar Exeter v Leicester

20-22 Mar Harlequins v Sale

20-22 Mar Northampton v Wasps

20-22 Mar Worcester v Gloucester

Round 15

27-29 Mar Gloucester v Bristol

27-29 Mar Leicester v Bath

27-29 Mar London Irish v Northampton

27-29 Mar Sale v Exeter

27-29 Mar Saracens v Harlequins (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)

27-29 Mar Wasps v Worcester

Round 16

10-12 Apr Bristol v Exeter

10-12 Apr Leicester v London Irish

10-12 Apr Northampton v Bath

10-12 Apr Saracens v Gloucester

10-12 Apr Wasps v Sale

10-12 Apr Worcester v Harlequins

Round 17

17-19 Apr Bath v Wasps

17-19 Apr Exeter v Worcester

17-19 Apr Gloucester v Leicester

17-19 Apr Harlequins v Northampton

17-19 Apr London Irish v Saracens

17-19 Apr Sale v Bristol

Round 18

24-26 Apr Gloucester v London Irish

24-26 Apr Harlequins v Bath

24-26 Apr Leicester v Sale

24-26 Apr Northampton v Exeter

24-26 Apr Saracens v Wasps

24-26 Apr Worcester v Bristol

Round 19

8-10 May Bath v Worcester

8-10 May Bristol v Northampton

8-10 May Exeter v Gloucester

8-10 May London Irish v Harlequins

8-10 May Sale v Saracens

8-10 May Wasps v Leicester

Round 20

15-17 May Gloucester v Harlequins

15-17 May Leicester v Northampton

15-17 May London Irish v Worcester

15-17 May Sale v Bath

15-17 May Saracens v Exeter

15-17 May Wasps v Bristol

Round 21

29-31 May Bath v Gloucester

29-31 May Bristol v Leicester

29-31 May Exeter v London Irish

29-31 May Harlequins v Wasps

29-31 May Northampton v Sale

29-31 May Worcester v Saracens

Round 22

Sat 6 Jun Gloucester v Northampton

Sat 6 Jun Leicester v Harlequins

Sat 6 Jun London Irish v Bristol

Sat 6 Jun Sale v Worcester

Sat 6 Jun Saracens v Bath

Sat 6 Jun Wasps v Exeter

Semi-finals

12-13 June

Final

Sat 20 Jun (Twickenham Stadium)

Guinness PRO14

Round 1

Fri 27 Sep Cheetahs 48-14 Glasgow

Fri 27 Sep Ulster 38-14 Ospreys

Sat 28 Sep Munster 39-9 Dragons

Sat 28 Sep Southern Kings 27-31 Cardiff Blues

Sat 28 Sep Scarlets 18-10 Connacht

Sat 28 Sep Benetton 27-32 Leinster

Sat 28 Sep Edinburgh 50-15 Zebre

Round 2

Fri 4 Oct Glasgow 21-25 Scarlets

Fri 4 Oct Leinster 53-5 Ospreys

Sat 5 Oct Southern Kings 20-31 Munster

Sat 5 Oct Cardiff Blues 11-19 Edinburgh

Sat 5 Oct Zebre 28-52 Dragons

Sat 5 Oct Cheetahs 63-26 Ulster

Sat 5 Oct Connacht 41-5 Benetton

Round 3

Fri 11 Oct Dragons 14-38 Connacht

Fri 11 Oct Leinster 40-14 Edinburgh

Sat 12 Oct Scarlets 54-10 Zebre

Sat 12 Oct Southern Kings 17-42 Ulster

Sat 12 Oct Cheetahs 40-16 Munster

Sat 12 Oct Glasgow 17-13 Cardiff Blues

Sat 12 Oct Ospreys 24-20 Benetton

Round 4

Fri 25 Oct Munster v Ospreys (7.35pm)

Fri 25 Oct Ulster v Cardiff Blues (7.35pm)

Sat 26 Oct Dragons v Glasgow (3pm)

Sat 26 Oct Benetton v Southern Kings (4pm)

Sat 26 Oct Connacht v Cheetahs (5.15pm)

Sat 26 Oct Zebre v Leinster (6.15pm)

Sat 26 Oct Edinburgh v Scarlets (7.35pm)

Round 5

Fri 1 Nov Glasgow v Southern Kings (7.35pm)

Fri 1 Nov Leinster v Dragons (7.35pm)

Fri 1 Nov Ulster v Zebre (7.35pm)

Sat 2 Nov Scarlets v Cheetahs (3pm)

Sat 2 Nov Ospreys v Connacht (5.15pm)

Sat 2 Nov Benetton v Edinburgh (6.15pm)

Sat 2 Nov Cardiff Blues v Munster (7.35pm)

Round 6

Fri 8 Nov Connacht v Leinster (7.35pm)

Fri 8 Nov Edinburgh v Dragons (7.35pm)

Sat 9 Nov Ospreys v Southern Kings (3pm)

Sat 9 Nov Zebre v Glasgow (4pm)

Sat 9 Nov Cardiff Blues v Cheetahs (5.15pm)

Sat 9 Nov Munster v Ulster (5.15pm)

Sat 9 Nov Scarlets v Benetton (7.35pm)

Round 7

Fri 29 Nov Munster v Edinburgh (7.35pm)

Fri 29 Nov Ulster v Scarlets (7.35pm)

Sat 30 Nov Benetton v Cardiff Blues (4pm)

Sat 30 Nov Connacht v Southern Kings (5.15pm)

Sat 30 Nov Dragons v Zebre (5.15pm)

Sat 30 Nov Glasgow v Leinster (7.35pm)

Sat 30 Nov Ospreys v Cheetahs (7.35pm)

Round 8

Fri 20 Dec Leinster v Ulster (7.35pm)

Sat 21 Dec Zebre v Benetton (4pm)

Sat 21 Dec Connacht v Munster (5.15pm)

Sat 21 Dec Dragons v Scarlets (5.15pm)

Sat 21 Dec Glasgow v Edinburgh (5.45pm)

Sat 21 Dec Ospreys v Cardiff Blues (7.35pm)

Round 9

Thu 26 Dec Cardiff Blues v Dragons (3pm)

Thu 26 Dec Scarlets v Ospreys (5.15pm)

Fri 27 Dec Ulster v Connacht (7.35pm)

Sat 28 Dec Benetton v Zebre (2pm)

Sat 28 Dec Edinburgh v Glasgow (3pm)

Sat 28 Dec Munster v Leinster (6pm)

Round 10

Fri 3 Jan Cardiff Blues v Scarlets (7.35pm)

Fri 3 Jan Ulster v Munster (7.35pm)

Sat 4 Jan Benetton v Glasgow (2pm)

Sat 4 Jan Dragons v Ospreys (3pm)

Sat 4 Jan Zebre v Cheetahs (4pm)

Sat 4 Jan Leinster v Connacht (5.30pm)

Sat 4 Jan Edinburgh v Southern Kings (7.45pm)

Round 8

Sat 25 Jan Southern Kings v Cheetahs (kick-off tbc)

Round 9

Sat 1 Feb Cheetahs v Southern Kings (kick-off tbc)

Round 11

Fri 14 Feb Glasgow v Zebre (7.35pm)

Fri 14 Feb Munster v Southern Kings (7.35pm)

Sat 15 Feb Leinster v Cheetahs (2.30pm)

Sat 15 Feb Scarlets v Edinburgh (3pm)

Sat 15 Feb Ospreys v Ulster (5.15pm)

Sat 15 Feb Connacht v Cardiff Blues (7.35pm)

Sat 15 Feb Dragons v Benetton (7.35pm)

Round 12

Fri 21 Feb Edinburgh v Connacht (7.35pm)

Fri 21 Feb Ospreys v Leinster (7.35pm)

Fri 21 Feb Zebre v Munster (8.35pm)

Sat 22 Feb Glasgow v Dragons (7.35pm)

Sat 22 Feb Ulster v Cheetahs (7.35pm)

Sun 23 Feb Cardiff Blues v Benetton (5.15pm)

Sun 23 Feb Scarlets v Southern Kings (5.15pm)

Round 13

Fri 28 Feb Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues (7.35pm)

Fri 28 Feb Leinster v Glasgow (7.35pm)

Sat 29 Feb Zebre v Ospreys (2pm)

Sat 29 Feb Benetton v Ulster (4pm)

Sat 29 Feb Munster v Scarlets (5pm)

Sat 29 Feb Dragons v Cheetahs (5.15pm)

Sun 1 Mar Southern Kings v Connacht (3pm)

Round 14

Fri 20 Mar Connacht v Scarlets (7.35pm)

Fri 20 Mar Ulster v Dragons (7.35pm)

Sat 21 Mar Cardiff Blues v Zebre (3pm)

Sat 21 Mar Southern Kings v Edinburgh (3pm)

Sat 21 Mar Cheetahs v Leinster (5pm)

Sat 21 Mar Ospreys v Glasgow (5.15pm)

Sat 21 Mar Benetton v Munster (6.15pm)

Round 15

Fri 27 Mar Southern Kings v Leinster (7.15pm)

Fri 27 Mar Glasgow v Ulster (7.35pm)

Fri 27 Mar Munster v Benetton (7.35pm)

Sat 28 Mar Scarlets v Dragons (3pm)

Sat 28 Mar Cheetahs v Edinburgh (5pm)

Sat 28 Mar Cardiff Blues v Ospreys (5.15pm)

Sat 28 Mar Zebre v Connacht (6.15pm)

Round 16

Fri 10 Apr Connacht v Glasgow (7.35pm)

Fri 10 Apr Edinburgh v Benetton (7.35pm)

Sat 11 Apr Munster v Cardiff Blues (3pm)

Sat 11 Apr Southern Kings v Scarlets (4pm)

Sat 11 Apr Leinster v Zebre (5.15pm)

Sat 11 Apr Cheetahs v Ospreys (6.15pm)

Sat 11 Apr Dragons v Ulster (7.35pm)

Round 17

Fri 17 Apr Glasgow v Cheetahs (7.35pm)

Fri 17 Apr Benetton v Connacht (8.05pm)

Sat 18 Apr Ospreys v Dragons (3pm, Principality Stadium)

Sat 18 Apr Zebre v Southern Kings (4pm)

Sat 18 Apr Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (5.15pm, Principality Stadium)

Sat 18 Apr Leinster v Munster (5.30pm)

Sat 18 Apr Ulster v Edinburgh (7.45pm)

Round 18

Fri 24 Apr Benetton v Scarlets (7.05pm)

Fri 24 Apr Dragons v Leinster (7.35pm)

Fri 24 Apr Edinburgh v Ospreys (7.35pm)

Sat 25 Apr Cheetahs v Zebre (4pm)

Sat 25 Apr Munster v Glasgow (5.15pm)

Sat 25 Apr Cardiff Blues v Southern Kings (7.35pm)

Sat 25 Apr Connacht v Ulster (7.35pm)

Round 19

Fri 8 May Cardiff Blues v Connacht (7.35pm)

Fri 8 May Ulster v Glasgow (7.35pm)

Sat 9 May Cheetahs v Dragons (2pm)

Sat 9 May Cheetahs v Zebre (4pm)

Sat 9 May Ospreys v Zebre (5.15pm)

Sat 9 May Edinburgh v Munster (5.30pm)

Sat 9 May Scarlets v Leinster (7.45pm)

Round 20

Fri 15 May Glasgow v Ospreys (7.35pm)

Fri 15 May Leinster v Cardiff Blues (7.35pm)

Sat 16 May Southern Kings v Dragons (4pm)

Sat 16 May Zebre v Ulster (4pm)

Sat 16 May Scarlets v Munster (5.15pm)

Sat 16 May Cheetahs v Benetton (6.15pm)

Sat 16 May Connacht v Edinburgh (7.35pm)

Round 21

Fri 29 May Benetton v Zebre (kick-off tbc)

Fri 29 May Dragons v Cardiff Blues (kick-off tbc)

Fri 29 May Edinburgh v Glasgow (kick-off tbc)

Fri 29 May Southern Kings v Cheetahs (kick-off tbc)

Fri 29 May Munster v Connacht (kick-off tbc)

Fri 29 May Ospreys v Scarlets (kick-off tbc)

Fri 29 May Ulster v Leinster (kick-off tbc)

Play-offs and semi-finals

Dates to be confirmed.

Final

Sat 20 June, Cardiff City Stadium

Six Nations Fixtures 2020
Kick-off times are in GMT.

Round 1

Sat 1 February, Wales v Italy, Principality Stadium, BBC, 2.15pm
Sat 1 February, Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, ITV, 4.45pm
Sun 2 February, France v England, BBC, 3pm

Round 2

Sat 8 February, Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, ITV, 2.15pm
Sat 8 February, Scotland v England, BT Murrayfield, BBC, 4.45pm
Sun 9 February, France v Italy, BBC, 3pm

Round 3

Sat 22 February, Italy v Scotland, ITV, 2.15pm
Sat 22 February, Wales v France, Principality Stadium, BBC, 4.45pm
Sun 23 February, England v Ireland, Twickenham, ITV, 3pm

Round 4

Sat 7 March, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, ITV, 2.15pm
Sat 7 March, England v Wales, Twickenham, ITV, 4.45pm
Sun 8 March, Scotland v France, BT Murrayfield, BBC, 3pm

Round 5

Sat 14 March, Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium, BBC, 2.15pm
Sat 14 March, Italy v England, ITV, 4.45pm
Sat 14 March, France v Ireland, BBC, 8pm

6 Nations

Scotland Suffer Major Six Nations Blow

Scotland have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their Six Nations opener against Ireland in just over a week

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Scotland could be without fly-half Finn Russell for the entire Six Nations campaign according to reports after he left the team camp of his own accord.

BBC Sport are reporting that the 27-year-old Racing 92 star has breached “team protocol” and it has been confirmed by Scottish Rugby that he will not feature during the team’s opening game against Ireland on February 1st. 

“Finn Russell will play no further part in preparations for Scotland’s Six Nations opener,” a statement read.

Some believed that the player was injured during last weekend’s Champions Cup defeat to Saracens while on club duty, but there are growing concerns that there may be tension between Russell and head coach Gregor Townsend. 

Russell has had problems before with the coaches tactics and didn’t hide anything following last year’s Six Nations draw with England, when the Scots came back from 31-7 at half-time to draw 38-all in the end. 

“I actually had an argument with Gregor [at half-time]. I said to him ‘you’re telling us to kick and when we kick, they just run it back and cut us open, and when we run it, they’re just hitting us behind the gain line and winning the ball back’. Second half, we just came out with nothing to lose, played our rugby, kicked out of our half and scored some great tries. We played good Scottish rugby,” he said after the game last March.

However, there is no certainty as to what is the actual reason behind the scenario, but Russell will in fact head back to Racing for now. 

It is a huge blow for Scotland with Russell being one of the more experienced players among a young group, but it appears as though Adam Hastings would be most likely to take his place. However, fans will be worried with it being unknown whether or not their skillful playmaker will be involved at all during this year’s competition. 

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6 Nations

Smith Defends Parisse “Send-Off” Decision

Italian head coach Franco Smith has defended the decision to allow Sergio Parisse play only one game in the Six Nations this year in order to give him a send-off

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(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

New Italy head coach Franco Smith has come out to defend the decision to allow Sergio Parisse have a send-off in the team’s final home match in the upcoming Six Nations campaign.

It has been confirmed that former captain Parisse, who has a total of 142-caps to his name for the side will not be involved at any other point of the competition other than their game against England in Rome on March 14th. 

The 36-year-old had planned to make his final appearance against New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup pool stages last year, only for the game to be cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis. Smith believes that it is only right to give Parisse one last chance to play in blue. 

“Sergio will be involved in the last game with England and he has a lot to contribute. I said to Sergio two days ago not to worry and he doesn’t want to let the team down. I said we would stick to the plan and I will help him settle in and give him the best opportunity to play as well as he can. There was a misinterpretation that it will be a goodbye game and that is not the case and the agreement we have is that he is going to contribute one last time. We have turned the page, but he (Parisse) is a player of stature and deserves a send-off, but it is not just a send-off game and we hope he can make a difference and contribute from a leadership point of view and also be the icon we can follow,” he said. 

Smith thinks that the other players in the squad may gain motivation by seeing Parisse get a send-off as they will see what could happen to them if they reach the high-levels he has. 

“If other players see the send-off that Sergio gets then that will inspire them to be as good as they can be in an Italian jersey as well. He will come into camp when he can but we have also made an agreement with his club in France. He was a leader for Italian rugby for so long that very few leaders were developed and now it is time for a new leadership group and we have identified seven players of which Luca Bigi is the captain. Sergio will come and contribute for old time’s sake,” he added. 

The news has got a mixed reception from some fans, but maybe it will be something to motivate younger players in the squads as Smith believes. 

Meanwhile, the new head coach, who took over from Conor O’Shea following the World Cup, is looking to Japan for inspiration with his new side. 

“I want to help the team get to the next level and the game is going to change. Japan helped with the way they went about it ( at the World Cup) saying they couldn’t beat other teams with the way they play and we have to find our own way. I think that will be a point of reference (for us). For a long time Italy played in a way to beat teams not necessarily with their own game. The pressure game has been a feature of the last six or seven years and attack is the most difficult area to coach,” he finished up on. 

Italy face a tough task heading into the campaign with current Grand Slam holders Wales up first on February 1st, with the Azzurri looking to end a run of 22 defeats in a row in the tournament.

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6 Nations

Former Scotland Star Fearing Tough Six Nations Campaign

Former Scotland star Scott Hastings is fearing the worst for his country as they head into the Six Nations

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(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Former Scotland centre Scott Hastings has predicted a tough Six Nations campaign for the national side as they go through a period of transition.

The 65-cap Scot believes that last year was expected to be the year where Scotland produced their best, but they failed and they are now trying to figure things out with a younger squad. 

Some of those youngsters have starred for club and country including the likes of Jamie Ritchie, Darcy Graham and Magnus Bradbury, but Hastings is worried that they will lack the guidance of experienced players with veterans such as Greig Laidlaw, John Barclay and Tommy Seymour retiring after last year’s Rugby World Cup

“I think Scotland are in for a tough season. There is a new era ahead. The team needs to try to put the World Cup to bed but they have lost three experienced heads in Laidlaw, Barclay and Seymour. There needs to be a new energy coming into the team and you can see Gregor is trying to do that with the six uncapped players he has included in his Six Nations squad. But has Gregor learned from the failure of last year? There was a lot of expectancy on the team but they imploded on numerous occasions,” he said while speaking to PA news agency. 

With that in mind Hastings believes that other players in the squad need to step up including Finn Russell, who is now one of the most experienced players in the squad. 

“The things we need to see is how does George Horne become that experienced player, how does Finn Russell strike that balance between exuberance, mercurial brilliance with also the need to be pinpoint accurate so he can deliver a winning performance for Scotland. In the forwards, how does Zander Fagerson turn himself into the number one tighthead in the Six Nations, how does Jonny Gray become the Alun Wyn Jones of Scottish rugby?” he added. 

However, he doesn’t believe that Scotland will be the only side in transition this year with Ireland and Wales in a similar boat in his eyes. While he is backing the title to head to either England or France this season. 

“I think Ireland and Wales are going through something a bit of a transitional period, similar to Scotland. England and France undoubtedly look like the teams to beat but I’m afraid Scotland are looking at fourth, fifth and sixth. I know that sounds harsh and when I played I certainly never went into a season thinking like that. But while I’m still a passionate Scotland supporter this time I’ve got to lead my head rule my heart. They have shown in glimpses that they can play well but you need more than that to compete for a Six Nations title,” he finished up with. 

Scotland will want an improvement from last season, where they only managed a win against Italy and a draw with England in the Six Nations as well as exiting the World Cup in the pool stages. 

However, they face a tough task this time around with their opening game against an Ireland side under new management and eager to impress their new coaches.

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