Wales v Ireland in Cardiff (6 Nations International Championship)
Scotland v England at Twickenham (Calcutta Cup; 6 Nations Int. Champ.)
Romania v Portugal in Lisbon (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1A)
Spain v Russia in Russia (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1A)
Georgia v Belgium in Brussels (WCQ Europe R5; ENC 1A)
France v Italy in Rome (6 Nations International Championship)
This weekend sees the international test rugby European rugby scene underway after the December-January mid-winter break.
Two teams, England and France, look to be the 6 Nations favourites after great performances last November-England defeated New Zealand whilst France were impressive with a new-look team and undefeated November record.
Wales will be keen to regain their ‘Grand Slam’ glory after a dismal 2012 record. Ireland will want to improve and find their form whilst Scotland, under a new coach, will be hoping to erase the disaster of their November campaign.
Italy have always been bottom or near bottom of the 6 Nations championship. With an ageing pack and still lacking a backline with punch they could well struggle again.
The European Nations Cup Division 1A commences at the same time as the 6 Nations. Decided annually the promotion-relegation component is decided bi-annually. Also up for grabs are the two places at the 2015 Rugby World Finals. Those places are decided at the end of the second round in 2014.
Belgium replaces the Ukraine in the ENC 2012-14. That final position has been a bit of a rotating event without a team being able to cement a place. Belgium’s aim would be to still be there in May 2014.