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6 Nations plus Fiji, Georgia confirmed in rugby tourney

DUBLIN (AP) — The Six Nations sides plus Fiji and Georgia will play a makeshift rugby tournament in November and December. Ireland vs. Wales in Dublin on Nov. 13 will start the Autumn Nations Cup, which replaces the usual tours of Europe by southern hemisphere and Asia teams. Travel restrictions in the coronavirus pandemic have canceled every tour.

The Nations Cup splits England, Ireland, Wales, and Georgia into Group A, and France, Scotland, Italy, and Fiji in Group B. Pool play will feature on the first three weekends, then the finals on Dec. 5 and 6 between teams with the same rankings in each pool.

Wales, France, and Italy have yet to confirm venues. Georgia will not have a home game. Georgia replaced Japan two weeks ago because government restrictions prevented the Japanese from bringing back their coaches from their overseas homes.

The tournament is two weeks after the scheduled end of the delayed Six Nations. A broadcast deal was yet to be done, the Six Nations said on Thursday. “A significant amount of time and effort has gone into delivering this new tournament format in testing circumstances and the spirit of collaboration amongst key stakeholders has been outstanding,” Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said in a statement.

Schedule:

First Round

Nov. 13: Ireland vs. Wales, Dublin

Nov. 14: Italy vs. Scotland, tbc; England vs. Georgia, London.

Nov. 15: France vs. Fiji, tbc.

Second Round

Nov. 21: Italy vs. Fiji, tbc; England vs. Ireland, London; Wales vs. Georgia, tbc.

Nov. 22: Scotland vs. France, Edinburgh.

Third Round

Nov. 28: Scotland vs. Fiji, Edinburgh; Wales vs. England, tbc; France vs. Italy, tbc.

Nov. 29: Ireland vs. Georgia, Dublin.

Finals

Dec. 5: Georgia vs. tbd, Edinburgh; Ireland vs. tbd, Dublin; Wales vs. tbd, tbc.

Dec. 6: England vs. tbd, London.

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