All roads lead to Super Saturday this week, with three back-to-back heavyweight clashes to look forward to in Round 5.
Two sides remain in contention for the Championship and they play each other, with Grand Slam-chasing Wales travelling to Paris to take on a French side who need to win to keep their own hopes alive ahead of the re-arranged clash with Scotland.
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The action begins with Gregor Townsend’s men welcoming Italy to BT Murrayfield in the first game of the day before England head to Ireland for the filling in an irresistible Guinness Six Nations sandwich.
As ever, much of the build-up will be dominated by selection dilemmas – and we’ll find out on Thursday who the chosen few are, with all six sides set to announce their matchday 23s in relatively quick succession.
While the coaches weigh up their decisions, here’s when you can expect to hear the outcomes…
ENGLAND – 11AM
England came out on top in a titanic Twickenham tussle against France in Round 4 and will hope to take that form into their tricky trip to Dublin.
Eddie Jones has some intriguing decisions to make ahead of his side’s trip over the Irish Sea. Does he stick with Max Malins at full-back or will Elliot Daly’s impressive cameo earn him a recall? Has Luke Cowan-Dickie done enough to retain his starting berth or will Jamie George come back in?
We’ll find out on Thursday at 11am, when England’s squad will be revealed. Jones’ side were 32-20 winners on their last trip to the Aviva Stadium and a repeat performance would ensure a testing campaign ends on a high.
FRANCE – 11AM (UK TIME)
Also at 11am, Fabien Galthie will reveal the identity of the French squad hoping to dash Welsh dreams of a Grand Slam in Paris.
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Les Bleus are the only team who can stop Wales winning a second title in three years and they will have to finish their campaign with two wins to do so – even then it may not be that simple, as our guide to the permutations explains.
Arthur Vincent and Uini Atonio have replaced Jonathan Danty and Wilfrid Hounkpatin in the squad preparing for Saturday night’s clash, with France looking to showcase the fluency which saw them beat Wales 38-21 in an Autumn Nations Cup warm-up in October.
WALES – NOON
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated team news will be delivered by Wayne Pivac, who is due to face the media at noon on Thursday to set out who will be tasked with securing Wales’ fifth Grand Slam of the Six Nations era.
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Pivac has to decide whether to stick or twist in key positions such as inside centre, where Willis Halaholo is challenging Jonathan Davies, and scrum-half, with Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams battling it out for the right to start in the No.9 jersey.
Whoever Pivac selects, his side will be eager to retain their attacking threat. Wales need just one more try to beat their previous Championship best of 17 while Louis Rees-Zammit remains neck and neck with Anthony Watson in the race for top try scorer – both wingers have four going into Round 5.
SCOTLAND – 1.30PM
Scotland welcome Italy on Saturday looking to breathe fresh life into a campaign which has faltered after a superb start at Twickenham.
Gregor Townsend has recalled Zander Fagerson following his suspension and the prop is joined by Edinburgh duo Damien Hoyland and Ally Miller in the 35-man training squad.
Huw Jones will hope his excellent finish against Ireland on Sunday helps his case to earn a place in the starting XV while fly-half Jaco van der Walt remains part of the squad as he seeks a Championship bow.
ITALY – 2PM (UK TIME)
Just half an hour after finding out who they will be facing at BT Murrayfield, Italy will name their matchday squad.
Franco Smith’s side are looking for their first win of the campaign and the 48-year-old has added Pierre Bruno, Riccardo Favretto and Andrea Zambonin to his squad ahead of the weekend.
Italy’s most recent win in Edinburgh came in 2015 and Smith will hope Super Saturday is the start of his side turning their promise into results.
IRELAND – 4PM
Rounding off a hectic day of team announcements is Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, who holds his press conference at 4pm to run through his squad to face England.
He will be without James Ryan, who is going through the return to play protocols following his removal for an HIA against Scotland, and his Leinster teammate Garry Ringrose (ankle).
But Peter O’Mahony is back in contention having served his suspension following his sending off against Wales in Round 1 and Connacht’s Finlay Bealham remains with the squad.
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