Play away from Twickenham?

Six Nations 2018 and 2019 fixtures announced

ITV

Davis: England want to harness Twickenham atmosphere to help end year on a high

England Sevens are looking to end their campaign on a high at Twickenham at the weekend, centre Alex Davis told ITV.

The team took advantage of Fiji's underwhelming performance in Paris last weekend to move into second and now want to finish the job at Twickenham in front of a raucous home crowd.

Twickenham will host the two-day end-of-season event, with England starting three points ahead of Fiji in third.

"We're currently second in the table, and our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top three, we're just ahead of Fiji so we're definitely going to try and push them for second place - and finishing in London, at home, means we want to finish strongly and then we'll be really pleased with how the season's gone.

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Six Nations fixture lists announced for 2018 and 2019 tournaments

England will hope it is third time lucky when they start their Six Nations title defence against Italy on February 4.

The fixtures for the rugby union tournament, featuring England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, and Italy, have been released for the 2018 and 2019 competitions.

The Six Nations will return on February 3, when Wales face Scotland, and Ireland travel to France.

The tournament will continue to run across seven weeks in 2018 and 2019, although the Rugby Football Union have proposed to reduce its length from 2020. There are rest weeks after rounds two and three, despite some calls for it to be shortened to a five-week block, according to ESPN.

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies is hoping the Six Nations will continue to remain as a seven-week tournament.

He said: "We think it's very important from a player welfare perspective to retain the seven weeks.

"Some would argue the seven weeks is too short, especially at the intensity, speed and power that these guys play today.

"Looking back to last season, Scotland played France two weeks before they played us.

"If that game had been played on successive Saturdays they would have been eight players short.

"That, at the end of the day, does nothing I think for the integrity of the competition and why subject the players to added pressures.

"Also from the fans' point of view, being on the road or coming to Cardiff five weeks on the trot is pretty demanding and perhaps unreasonable on the supporters."

St Patrick's Day will see a 'Super Saturday' climax to the 2018 tournament as England host Ireland, Scotland face Italy and Wales play France.

England will conclude their games at the 2018 and 2019 tournaments at their home ground, Twickenham Stadium.

The ground started from humble beginnings - from a bit of farmland bought for £5,600 by the Rugby Football Union to the home of English rugby. "Billy Williams' Cabbage Patch", as it was nicknamed after its acquisition in 1907 after a RFU committee member, has grown from a capacity of 18,000 at its first international game to the 82,000 crowd it attracts today. The purchase was met with incredulity at the time, with ESPN noting "Twickenham might as well have been Timbuktu", located 12 miles away from Piccadilly Circus with poor transport links.

The Six Nations will be played in the national rugby stadiums of the contending countries: Ireland's Aviva Stadium, Wales' Principality Stadium, Scotland's Murrayfield, Italy's Stadio Olimpico, and France's Stade de France. However, as the fixtures list mentions, the venue for their home clash with Italy on February 23, 2018 will be announced at a later stage, suggesting a move from Stade de France.

2018 Championship

February 3-4: Wales v Scotland (Saturday 2.15pm), France v Ireland (Saturday 4.45pm) Italy v England (Sunday 3pm)

February 10-11: Ireland v Italy (Saturday 2.15pm), England v Wales (Saturday 4.45pm), Scotland v France (Sunday 3pm)

February 23-24: France v Italy (Friday 8pm) - Venue TBA, Ireland v Wales (Saturday 2.15pm), Scotland v England (Saturday 4.45pm)

March 10-11: Ireland v Scotland (Saturday 2.15pm), France v England (Saturday 4.45pm), Wales v Italy (Sunday 3pm)

March 17: Italy v Scotland (Saturday 12.30pm), England v Ireland (Saturday 2.45pm), Wales v France (Saturday 5pm)

2019 Championship

February 1-2: France v Wales (Friday 8pm), Scotland v Italy (Saturday 2.15pm), Ireland v England (Saturday 4.45pm)

February 9-10: Scotland v Ireland (Saturday 2.15pm), Italy v Wales (Saturday 4.45pm) England v France (Sunday 3pm)

February 23-24: France v Scotland (Saturday 2.15pm), Wales v England (Saturday 4.45pm), Italy v Ireland (Sunday 3pm)

March 9-10: Scotland v Wales (Saturday 2.15pm), England v Italy (Saturday 4.45pm), Ireland v France (Sunday 3pm)

March 16: Italy v France (Saturday 12.30pm), Wales v Ireland (Saturday 2.45pm), England v Scotland (Saturday 5pm)

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