Focus on the 2019 Championship: Wales

The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations has just been completed but fans throughout Wales are looking ahead to what’s in store for them next year.

The 2018 NatWest 6 Nations has just been completed but fans throughout Wales are looking ahead to what’s in store for them next year.

After a second-place finish in 2018, Warren Gatland’s squad will be looking to go one better in 12 months’ time but face a tricky set of fixtures.

Here, we look at how Wales’ journey through the 2019 Championship will look.   01/02/19 – France v Wales (Stade de France)

In a re-match of this year’s finale, France will kick-off the 2019 Championship on a Friday night as they look to enact revenge on Wales for their 14-13 defeat in Cardiff.

This is the first of three away games for Wales in the 2019 Championship at a venue they won at in 2013 and 2015 – part of a run of five straight victories in this fixture.

France’s 20-18 success in Paris in 2017 remains their only victory over Wales in this fixture since the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand back in 2011.   09/02/19 – Italy v Wales (Stadio Olimpico)

Eight days later, Wales will be in Rome to take on the Azzurri at Stadio Olimpico.

Gatland’s side enjoyed a 38-14 success over the Italians in Cardiff this year.

Wales have won their last 11 Championship matches against Italy with their last defeat coming in 2007 at Stadio Flaminio where they were beaten 23-20.   23/02/19 – Wales v England (Principality Stadium)

After the rest week, Wales will have their first home game of the 2019 Championship as old-rivals England visit Cardiff.

Wales have lost their last five Championship matches against England with Eddie Jones’ guiding his side to an important 21-16 success at Principality Stadium in 2016.

Wales’ last success over England in the Championship came in 2013 when Alex Cuthbert scored two tries as Wales triumphed 30-3 on their way to lifting the trophy.   09/03/19 – Scotland v Wales (BT Murrayfield)

There are no easy fixtures in the Championship with Wales heading north in round four to take on Gregor Townsend’s Scotland at BT Murrayfield.

Wales were 34-7 winners over the Scots in round one this year but Townsend’s side improved markedly throughout the Championship and are a different prospect at home.

Scotland were 29-13 winners at BT Murrayfield in 2017 which ended a run of nine straight successes for Wales in this historic fixture.   16/03/19 – Wales v Ireland (Principality Stadium)

Wales conclude their 2019 Championship by welcoming the reigning champions Ireland to Cardiff in what is sure to be a hotly anticipated part on Super Saturday.

The meeting in Cardiff will be the second game of Super Saturday with Wales looking to avenge the 37-27 defeat they suffered in Dublin in 2018.

The home side has won this contest in each of the last five Championships, barring the 16-16 draw in Dublin in 2016, with Ireland’s last victory in Cardiff coming in 2013.