Six Nations start date 'to remain unchanged in calendar shake-up'

A general view of Twickenham Stadium on May 2, 2013
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A report claims that a major shake-up of the current rugby calendar is close to being made, but the Six Nations will retain its traditional slot early in the year.

An agreement is reportedly close to being made to ensure that the Six Nations will not move from its traditional February start date.

There had been talk of moving the annual competition, contested between England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy, to a later point in the year to bring it in line with other tournaments.

According to BBC Sport, rugby administrators worldwide are expected to announce that there will be fewer international matches after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and summer tours could also be scrapped at least once per four-year cycle.

As part of the agreement the Six Nations will remain untouched, however, while the World Cup and the British and Irish Lions series will also retain their spots in the current calendar.

It is also claimed that Premiership and Pro12 rugby will start later and therefore end later, with Super Rugby in the Southern Hemisphere finishing at a similar time.

Joe Marler looks on during the England training session at Pennyhill Park on November 7, 2013
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