Ireland's women will finally get to finish off their 2020 Six Nations campaign with news that the delayed games at home to Italy and away to France are to be contested at the end of October and the first weekend in November.
Adam Griggs' side will host Italy at Energia Park in Donnybrook on the afternoon of Sunday, October 25 and then complete their fixtures with a visit to Le Stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq which is situated on the outskirts of Lille near the Belgian border.
Ireland won both of their opening games, at home to Scotland and Wales, which marked a major improvement on recent results, before suffering to 27-0 defeat to England at Castle Park in Doncaster in late February.
The Six Nations fixtures will be followed by the delayed women's Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifying campaign which was due to be held this month and will instead take place in December. Griggs' side face Scotland, Italy and the winners of next month's Women's Rugby League Championship with the winner qualifying for next year's event in New Zealand and the runner-up going through to a final qualification tournament in 2021.
“Despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we have been at all times absolutely determined to conclude this year’s Six Nations Women’s Championship,” said Ben Morel, CEO of the Six Nations.
“While we will remain vigilant in the current fast changing environment, we are nonetheless delighted to announce this schedule today. We are really looking to some exciting rugby and fantastic matches in the weeks’ ahead.”
Ireland's senior men will face their Italian and French counterparts on the corresponding weekends although the U20s Six Nations campaign was officially cancelled early last month due to what organisers termed to be scheduling constraints.
Noel McNamara's side had won all three of their opening fixtures prior to the shutdown and were well on the way to a Grand Slam. The U20 World Championship, scheduled to be hosted in northern Italy in late June and July, has also been cancelled.