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Ireland are set to play in an eight team tournament towards the end of this year which is also set to feature Fiji and Japan and the remaining five teams in the Six Nations.
This follows news that we reported last week that World Rugby have put a temporary calendar in place. This meaning the remaining games of the 2020 Six Nations will be played in the final two weeks of October, with the Northern hemisphere teams then beginning an international window from November 14th to December. This is obviously where this tournament will be played.
The eight team tournament is still to be confirmed in August will face the spaces that are normally reserved for the Autumn international series. The competition will be split into two groups of four teams. RTE Sport state that Ireland will be in a group containing England, Wales and Fiji, while the second group will compromise of France, Scotland, Italy and Japan. The games will be played over a period of four weekends, while games will be shown on RTE. These games will be announced in due course.
Teams are likely to play a play-off against the corresponding ranked side in the opposite pool. Each group winner will play in the final at Twickenham. Peter O’Reilly of the Sunday Times confirmed the news in a tweet, he said, “Hearing pools for proposed 8 Nations tournament (Nov 14-Dec 5) are as follows: Eng, Wal, Ire & Fiji in one group; Fra, Sco, Italy and Japan in the other. Three pool games each, then a play-off round 1st v 1st, 2nd v 2nd etc. Ireland home v Wal, Fij, away to Eng. Dates, times TBA”.