Steve Borthwick and Warren Gatland both had rude awakenings in their new roles as England and Wales were both beaten on an exciting first day of this year’s Six Nations Championship.
England were beaten by a brilliant Scotland performance – the Scots first win at a packed Twickenham since 1983 (the win two years ago was played in front of empty stands due to lockdown), and their first back-to-back victories in south west London ever. Brilliance from Duhan van der Merwe with two tries helped Gregor Townsend’s men to a deserved victory.
Scotland were bold and brave and hung on in the contest when it threatened to get away from them after half-time, weathering the pressure of everything that England threw at them.
In a game of fine margins the hosts far from disgraced themselves but were undone by visitors’ fight and brilliance.
In Cardiff Gatland’s return to the Wales hot seat was a losing one as Ireland raced away to an early 27-3 lead that they never looked like relinquishing.
Gatland defended his team, saying he saw plenty of positives after the break when Wales attacked but were unable to make their time in the Ireland 22 count.
While, Grand Slam champions France got their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start with a 29-24 victory over Italy, but they survived an almighty scare in Rome.
When did the Six Nations 2023 start?
The Six Nations 2023 kicked off on Saturday February 4, when Wales were comfortably beaten by Ireland in Cardiff. That was followed up by Scotland’s brilliant win over England at Twickenham. The first weekend was rounded off by France, many people’s favourite for the title, beating Italy 29-24 in a closely fought affair in Rome. The tournament reaches its conclusion on March 18 – ‘Super Saturday’ – when all three fixtures kick off on the same day, one after another.
Six Nations 2023 fixtures and TV schedule
Saturday, February 4
Wales 10 Ireland 34
England 23 Scotland 29
Sunday, February 5
Italy 24 France 29
Saturday, February 11
Ireland vs France, 2.15pm, at Aviva Stadium (Dublin), ITV
Scotland vs Wales, 4.45pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh), BBC
Sunday, February 12
England vs Italy, 3pm, at Twickenham (London), ITV
Saturday, February 25
Italy vs Ireland, 2.15pm, at Stadio Olimpico (Rome), ITV
Wales vs England, 4.45pm, at Principality Stadium (Cardiff), BBC
Sunday, February 26
France vs Scotland, 3pm, at Stade de France (Paris), ITV
Saturday, March 11
Italy vs Wales, 2.15pm, at Stadio Olimpico (Rome), ITV
England vs France, 4.45pm, at Twickenham (London), ITV and BBC
Sunday, March 12
Scotland vs Ireland, 3pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh), BBC
Saturday, March 18
Scotland vs Italy, 12.30pm, at BT Murrayfield (Edinburgh), BBC
France vs Wales, 2.45pm, at Stade de France (Paris), ITV
Ireland vs England, 5pm, at Aviva Stadium (Dublin), ITV