Autumn Nations Cup: Where it will be played and how you can watch it on TV

After a marathon Six Nations Championship which began on the first day of February and ended on the last day of October, attention now turn to the Autumn Nations Cup.

Adam Hastings was injured in Scotland's win over Wales and is a doubt for the Autumn Nations Cup.
Adam Hastings was injured in Scotland's win over Wales and is a doubt for the Autumn Nations Cup.

The new eight-team tournament is designed to generate some much-need cash for international unions following the cancellation of the autumn Tests.

The likely absence of fans will limit hugely the amount of revenue which can be generated but there is at least a new TV deal with Amazon Prime Video and Channel 4.

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The sides are split into two pools of four, with Scotland drawn alongside France, Fiji and Italy in Group B. Group A consists of England, Ireland, Wales and Georgia.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend wants to use his full squad during the Autumn Nations Cup.

Prime Video will show all Scotland’s group games, kicking off on Saturday, November 14 with an away fixture against Italy in a venue yet to be announced.

The Scots then have back-to-back matches at BT Murrayfield, against France on Sunday, November 22 and Fiji on Saturday, November 28.

The competition will finish on the weekend of December 5-6 when each team faces the country ranked in the same position in the opposite pool.

The four play-off matches will be spread across four venues, with the Group A nations listed as the ‘home’ teams.

It means Georgia will face their opponents at Murrayfield, Ireland will play in the Aviva Stadium, England at Twickenham, and Wales at Parc y Scarlets.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend will use the competition to test the depth of his squad after a bruising encounter in Wales which saw lose not one but two stand-offs.

Finn Russell’s groin injury and Adam Hastings’ shoulder problem could rule out the pair for the whole of the competition and Townsend has already indicated he expects Duncan Weir or James Lang to take over at fly-half.

Townsend has also noted that Edinburgh's South African stand-off Jaco van der Walt becomes Scottish qualified on residency grounds during the Autumn Nations Cup having arrived in the capital in November 2017.

“I don’t think I would use the word ‘experimentation’ but we will have to change the team because there are a couple of injuries and players maybe coming back from injury,” said the coach. “There are players coming into this tournament whose form merits a start or a chance off the bench.

“The changes will be because we think these players are good enough to help us move forward or create a bit of competition or depth around a position or two.

“There are people who missed out today who we would like to introduce, whether it’s against Italy, France or Fiji. That’s the long-term aim. If we can have that 30 to 35-man squad where, just like the front row today, the quality is as good coming off the bench as started then that should make us stronger.

“But we will be picking what we believe is the best team to win each weekend. We have three different opponents and Italy, France and Fiji play different rugby, so that will be taken into account too in the team we put out against each opponent.”

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