Wales Six Nations 2022 matches, Friday night rugby return and a new televised deal

Now that the dust has settled on Wales’ Autumn Nations Series campaign, Wayne Pivac and his coaching staff will soon be ready to defend their Six Nations crown when the tournament takes place again in February.

Wales will open their title defense against Ireland on Saturday 5 February (kick-off 2:15 p.m.), which will be a difficult task given the fall form of Andy Farrell’s squad that will keep them saw the All Blacks beat.

The following week, Scotland travel to the Welsh capital ahead of a fallow week, after which Wales travel to Twickenham to face a ‘reborn’ England side on Saturday 26 February. The match will mark 10 years since Wales won a Six Nations match at the home of English rugby.

After the second week of fallow, Wales will face fit France and former defense coach Shaun Edwards when the Blues travel to Cardiff on March 11. The match marks the return of controversial Friday night international rugby to Wales for the first time since 2017. Kicks off at 8pm.

Wales will then end their campaign with a home game against Italy on the Super on Saturday 19 March. The kick-off is at 2.15pm, it is the first of three games, and will be followed by Ireland against Scotland and France against England.

Why the return of Friday night rugby?

Good question.

Friday night games have always been controversial in the past, with travel issues including traffic jams and crowded public transport proving a real issue for fans traveling to and back from games. And that was in a pre-Covid era.

The WRU told Six Nations bosses in 2017 that they were not prepared to host any other Friday night games for the foreseeable future. It came after Wales had been involved in all seven Friday games since their introduction to the tournament in 2009, hosting six of them, including the 2017 clash with Ireland.

Welsh rugby bosses wanted other countries to do their part and bear the burden, while England had consistently refused to host Six Nations matches on Friday night, citing travel issues. Wales would later be involved in a Friday night game in 2019 in France.

Fast forward a bit, and matches for the 2022 tournament have been announced in April 2021, where Wales v France is the only game in the championship on Friday. We’ll just have to wait and see if the burden is shifted elsewhere from 2023.

The new Six Nations TV contract

Unlike the recent Autumn Nations series, which will be broadcast live exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, the Six Nations will be shown on terrestrial television.

This is the start of a new broadcast deal with the BBC and ITV for the four-year men’s, women’s and under-20 tournaments, starting in 2022 and ending after the 2025 tournaments.

ITV is expected to broadcast the men’s Six Nations home games for England, Ireland, Italy and France, while the BBC will broadcast all Wales and Scotland home games.

In a big step forward for the Women’s Six Nations, broadcast rights have also been negotiated, with the BBC getting ready to broadcast the tournament exclusively with “an unprecedented investment”. During the shortened and postponed tournament to 2021, the BBC broadcast all matches on the iPlayer, with only two matches being broadcast on terrestrial television: the final between England and France on BBC Two and the Clash of the Land of Wales with Ireland on BBC Wales.

The Under-20 Championship will also receive “consistent coverage” on the BBC.

There were concerns that by the end of the broadcasters’ joint deal in 2021, coverage could go behind a pay wall in an effort to increase commercial revenue, but that did not turn out to be the case to kick things off. thumbs up to rugby fans.

Injured Wales stars set to return for Six Nations 2022

On the pitch, Wayne Pivac is hopeful that some big names who missed out on the Fall Nations Series will be available to help Wales as they look to defend their 2021 title.

Ospreys skipper Justin Tipuric missed recent fall games after injuring his shoulder while serving with the Lions in June. He is expected to return before Christmas, while compatriot Osprey George North – who is on the road to recovery after being ruled out of the Lions tour with ACL damage – is expected to be back at the start of the new year.

In the back row, Pivac hopes Ross Moriarty and Taulupe Faletau will be present at the Six Nations. Moriarty suffered a shoulder injury in Wales’ autumn loss to New Zealand, but it has been suggested he could return to training in December or January.

Faletau, linked with Cardiff, meanwhile missed all four of Wales’ autumn games after an ankle injury ruled him out, but he is expected to be fit after initially joined the Wales squad for the fall before being sent back to Bath.

Ken Owens, however, has emerged as a Six Nations doubt for the tournament’s start at least after Scarlets boss Dwayne Peel revealed he won’t be returning to the pitch until Christmas. Alun Wyn Jones is also a Six Nations doubt after undergoing shoulder surgery after a ligament injury.

Read more: How the Six Nations 2022 table is expected to end after the fall results

Six Nations 2022 full matches and UK kick-off times

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Ireland v Wales, 2:15 p.m.

Scotland v England, 4:45 p.m.

Sunday 6 February 2022

France v Italy, 3 p.m.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Wales v Scotland, 2:15 p.m.

France v Ireland, 4:45 p.m.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Italy v England, 3 p.m.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Scotland v France, 2:15 p.m.

England v Wales , 4:45 p.m.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Ireland v Italy, 3 p.m.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Wales v France, 8 p.m.

Saturday March 12, 2022

Italy v Scotland, 2:15 p.m.

England v Ireland, 4:45 p.m.

Saturday 19 March 2022

Wales v Italy, 2.15 p.m.

Ireland v Scotland, 4:45 p.m.

France v England, 8 p.m.

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