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Jonathan Bradley of Belfast Telegraph (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Following a year of sporting upheaval, the familiarity of the Six Nations and its old rivalries will be a much-needed comfort

Jonathan Bradley


Familiarity of Six Nations schedule is a reassuring relief in a world of turbulence

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Start point: Head coach Andy Farrell and assistant coach Mike Catt hope to inspire an overdue Irish win in Wales

Start point: Head coach Andy Farrell and assistant coach Mike Catt hope to inspire an overdue Irish win in Wales

©INPHO/Brian Reilly-Troy

Start point: Head coach Andy Farrell and assistant coach Mike Catt hope to inspire an overdue Irish win in Wales

President of Yale University, and one-time commissioner of baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti once reflected of his sport: "The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone."

When using sport to measure the waxing and waning of the year, the Six Nations occupies an opposing space in the calendar.

Even in these strangest of times, the arrival of the championship in the first week of February brings a certain level of comforting normality, here to guide us through the last vestiges of the long winter and into the spring when, even more so than usual, the world will hopefully be that little brighter.


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