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Rugby chiefs unveil Autumn Nations Cup

England take on Ireland in the 2020 Six Nations
England take on Ireland in the 2020 Six Nations Ben STANSALL AFP/File
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London (AFP)

Six Nations rugby chiefs on Thursday unveiled the eight-team Autumn Nations Cup, which replaces the traditional international Test window during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament, involving the Six Nations sides as well as Georgia and Fiji, will take place over four weekends between November 13 and December 6.

The teams will be divided into two pools of four. Group A will include England, Ireland, Wales and Georgia with Group B comprising France, Scotland, Italy and Fiji.

The action gets under way on November 13, with Ireland hosting Wales in Dublin.

The Nations Cup will conclude on the weekend of the December 5 and 6 with a special final round of matches

Based on the pool rankings coming into the final weekend, each team will face off against the side ranked in the same position in the opposite pool.

"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," said Six Nations Rugby CEO Ben Morel.

"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."

England coach Eddie Jones said: “We have a new competition format this autumn and are expecting four quality Tests which will be a good challenge for us."

Wales boss Wayne Pivac said international rugby had been "hugely missed".

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