This year's autumn international rugby matches are to be replaced by a new eight-team tournament – the Autumn Nations Cup – it's been announced today.
The widely anticipated Autumn Nations Cup will feature the Six Nations teams plus Georgia and Fiji.
The new tournament has been devised in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has prevented the major Southern Hemisphere teams from participating in the autumn fixtures.
The tournament format will consist of two pools of four teams; Group A will include England, Ireland, Wales and Georgia; Group B will include France, Scotland, Italy and Fiji.
Following three rounds of pool matches, each team from Group A will meet a corresponding team from Group B, based on their pool ranking, during finals weekend.
Autumn Nations Cup fixtures
Ireland v Wales - Friday 13th November - KO 7pm
Italy v Scotland - Saturday 14th November - KO 12:45pm
England v Georgia - Saturday 14th November - KO 3pm
France v Fiji - Sunday 15th November - KO TBC
Italy v Fiji - Saturday 21st November - KO 12:45pm
England v Ireland - Saturday 21st November - KO 3pm
Wales v Georgia - Saturday 21st November - KO 5:15pm
Scotland v France - Sunday 22nd November - KO 3pm
Scotland v Fiji - Saturday 28th November - KO 1:45pm
Wales v England - Saturday 28th November - KO 4pm
France v Italy - Saturday 28th November - KO 8pm
Ireland v Georgia - Sunday 29th November - KO 2pm
Georgia v TBC - Saturday 5th December - KO 12pm
Ireland v TBC - Saturday 5th December - KO 2:15pm
Wales v TBC - Saturday 5th December - KO 4:45pm
England v TBC - Sunday 6th December - KO 2pm
All kick-off times are in UK time and may be subject to change.
Ben Morel of Six Nations Rugby commented: "We are absolutely delighted to formally announce details of the Autumn Nations Cup. "
"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.
"While the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic made the traditional Autumn Test window unfeasible, we remained determined to deliver a unique and compelling tournament proposition which would ensure world class rugby for our fans globally, and competitive matches for players, unions and federations.
"We cannot wait for the tournament to get underway in November and fans can look forward to some outstanding matches featuring some of the greatest players in the world.
"We are especially pleased to be joined by Fiji and Georgia and expect them both to be tremendous additions to the competition."