Calcutta Cup first up for Scots again at rugby's 2022 Six Nations
Gregor Townsend’s Scotland rugby team have been offered an opportunity to kick off successive Six Nations campaigns with Calcutta Cup victories for the first time ever.
Fixture dates for 2022’s Six Nations tournament have now been announced, and first up for the national side, for the second year in a row, is a game against England.
Taking place at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, February 5, it will be the first time the Scots, coached by former Gala star Townsend and captained by Hawick’s Stuart Hogg, have started successive Six Nations campaigns against the English since 2012 and 2013.
Having beaten their oldest rivals 11-6 in February, next year’s meeting also offers the hosts a chance to follow up their first victory on English soil since 1983 by claiming back-to-back Calcutta Cup wins for the first time since then and the year after, though a 38-all draw at Twickenham in London in 2019 was enough for them to retain the trophy they’d won 25-13 in Edinburgh the year before.
Townsend’s team travel to Cardiff’s Principality Stadium for the tournament’s second round on Saturday, February 12, and will be hoping to repeat the feat they achieved in Llanelli in 2020 by maintaining the momentum of their first away win against Wales for 18 years rather than ending up on the losing side as they did at home this year.
The middle weekend of 2022’s championship sees Scotland back at Murrayfield on Saturday, February 26, hosting France, and they’ll be hoping to follow up their first victory in Paris since 1999 with their fourth home Six Nations win in a row against the French.
After that, on Saturday, March 12, comes a trip to Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, offering an opportunity for Scotland to notch up their 11th win on the trot against Italy, their record 52-10 triumph at Murrayfield in this year’s Six Nations having taken a winning streak started in August 2015 into double figures.
The Scots’ 2022 Six Nations campaign concludes with an away game against Ireland on Saturday, March 19. That trip to the Aviva Stadium offers Scotland not only a chance to avenge their 27-24 home defeat by Andy Farrell’s side in March but also to notch up their first win in Dublin since 2010 and their first victory against the Irish anywhere since 2017.
Kick-off times have yet to be confirmed for next year’s Six Nations games.
Scotland finished fourth in 2021’s Six Nations table with 15 points, having won three games and lost two.
That was their best placing for three years as, though they were crowned champions of the final Five Nations in 1999, they have never finished higher than third since Italy joined up in 2000.
The Scots claimed third place in 2001, 2006, 2013 and 2018, and they ended up level on points with third-placed Ireland this year and only one behind runners-up France and five behind champions Wales.
They’ve also ended up with the tournament’s wooden spoon four times – in 2015, 2012, 2007 and 2004 – with Wales and France doing likewise once each, in 2003 and 2013 respectively, and Italy claiming bottom spot the other 16 times.