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Japan and Fiji in line to join Six Nations sides in eight-team tournament

Ireland are set to take part in an eight-team tournament at the end of the year which will featur...

Ireland are set to take part in an eight-team tournament at the end of the year which will feature the other members of the Six Nations plus two Southern Hemisphere teams.

It follows last week's World Rugby proposal for a temporary calendar which would see the remaining fixtures of the postponed 2020 Six Nations played out in the final two weeks of October.

Following the conclusion of the Six Nations, Northern Hemisphere teams will begin an international window from the weekend of November 14th to December 5th against invited international teams in a tournament format.

That eight-team tournament, which will be confirmed in detail in August, will contain the teams split into two pools of four.

This tournament will replace the original Test schedule which featured the likes of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa coming to Europe for the Autumn internationals.

Fiji and Japan have been confirmed as the two sides to join Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France and Italy for a mini tournament of eight teams, with a December 5th final, following a pool stage.

Ireland are set to be in a pool with England, Wales, and Fiji, while the other pool will feature France, Scotland, Italy and 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts Japan.

Matches are set to be played out on four consecutive weekends across the two Winter months.

Ireland's outstanding Six Nations fixtures against Italy and France are expected to be played on the weekends of October 24th and 31st respectively.

Wales will not play at the Principality Stadium again in 2020 with the stadium set to remain as a field hospital.

The ground has been converted into the temporary Dragon's Heart Hospital and is set to continue as a medical facility in case of a second COVID-19 spike.

Many questions surround this tournament remain unclear, especially the name of the tournament and whether supporters will be able to attend, with strict restrictions on mass gatherings still in place across Europe.

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