Six Nations: Where and when to watch this weekend's games

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Six Nations: Where And When To Watch This Weekend's Games
Members of the Irish team after their defeat to France in the Aviva in the second round of the Six Nations. (Photo by Brian Lawless - Pool/Getty Images)
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Muireann Duffy

After a disheartening start to their 2021 campaign, Ireland now sit second from the bottom in this season's Six Nations standings, with two losing bonus points and Italy's sizeable points difference the only thing keeping Andy Farrell's men from the bottom rung.

While some positives can be drawn from Ireland's opening losses, putting in a dominant performance against Wales despite the loss of Peter O'Mahony to a red card early in the first half, and losing by just two points to tournament favourites France, this weekend's clash against Italy is a do-or-die event.

Almost a year on from last season's fixture in the Aviva, which was forced to be postponed amid worries of Covid-19 taking hold in Italy, the Azzurri will play host this time around.

Italy v Ireland

Time: 2.15pm, Saturday.

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

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Channel: Virgin Media One, coverage starting at 1pm.

Talking points: Captain Johnny Sexton returns after missing out on the French game in Dublin but will be partnered by Jamison Gibson Park at scrum-half, with Conor Murray unavailable due to injury.

Tadhg Beirne was praised for his last two performances in the second row, but will slot in at blindside flanker this time around as Farrell reshuffles the pack.

Italy are on a 29 match losing streak with no end in sight, but Ireland's desperate need of a win to shake the prospect of being landed with the wooden spoon will ensure they will not be taking today's challenge lightly.

Wales v England

Time: 4.45pm, Saturday.

Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

Channel: Virgin Media One, coverage starting at 4.30pm.

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Talking points: George North will earn his 100th cap for Wales as they hope to continue their Grand Slam charge against Eddie Jones' side.

Wayne Pivac's charges have done just enough to scrape their two wins to date, seeing off Scotland by just a single point in the second round, but England's battered ego following their loss to the Scots in their opening game may play into Wales' hand.

England will be without Courtney Lawes due to injury, but Jamie George reclaims his position as hooker. Meanwhile, Wales see the return of Jonathan Davis having recovered from an ankle injury, while Josh Adams returns following his two match suspension for breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

The final fixture of the weekend, France v Scotland which was due to be played on Sunday, has been postponed after an outbreak of Covid-19 in the French squad.

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