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Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Six Nations as it happened


Ireland 30-21 France

England 36-11 Italy

Text 81111 (with "RUGBYU" as the first word) or use 606 (Not all contributions can be used)

By Mark Orlovac

1912: Right. I think it's time to say goodbye. Thanks for your company and all the chat, take care and I'll see you soon.

"I have said all week that wins over France are rare. For all the players involved, this was coming because we have run them close over the years. I believe a lot in my team and they won today because they were the better side."
Ireland coach Declan Kidney

1903: Just in case you crave some more rugby chat, get involved on the Rugby Forum by pressing your red button. It will be on for another 30 minutes.

"Kinda curious... When was the last time a team won by 25 points and received as much criticism as England have from all parts today?
hammerhiem75 on 606

"That was a great game and is defo what the Six Nations is all about! Well done Ireland!"
ospreysgirl70 on 606

"It was a great game and a great result for Ireland. Declan Kidney has given them that confidence, they went behind but they still had composure. Brian O'Driscoll had a monumental game and he led very well. That's the first hurdle over with and Ireland now have momentum."
BBC pundit Keith Wood

FULL-TIME: Ireland 30-21 France
A breathtaking game comes to an end, and it is a match Ireland deserved to win. What a contest. I think I need a drink.

81+2 mins: France have the ball and they are threatening the Irish line but they can't win the game now.

78 mins: PENALTY Ireland 30-21 France
From the restart, Heymans is hauled down as he tries to run the ball back. Jamie Heaslip is like a terrier as he grapples for the ball on floor, Heymans holds on, and O'Gara kicks the penalty. It's all over now surely.

76 mins: PENALTY Ireland 27-21 France
France are trying to make things happen and eventually the penalty comes. John Hayes the culprit, handing Beauxis a simple kick from the 22. Geordan Murphy is brought on.

73 mins: Denis Leamy comes on for blind-side flanker Stephen Ferris. Cedric Heymans on for full-back Clement Poitrenaud.

71 mins: Louis Picamoles replaces number eight Imanol Harinordoquy. The game is a bit stop-start now, with both sides struggling to put phases of play together - that will suit Ireland though.

69 mins: France scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde comes off to be replaced by Morgan Parra, as a rendition of "Fields of Athenry" rings around Croke Park.

66 mins: TRY Ireland 27-18 France
It had to come. Ireland turn the screw as the forwards bash and crash their way towards the try line. The ball is spun wide and D'Arcy comes in off his right to brush past Thierry Dusautoir and barge his way over from close range. That was a good finish from the Leinster centre and that could be the game. O'Gara adds the conversion.

65 mins: Ireland are camped in the French 22 thanks to a superb O'Driscoll grubber kick to the corner.

62 mins: More subs. Romain Millo-Chluski on for Chabal, D'Arcy on for Paddy Wallace.

59 mins: Leicester hooker Benjamin Kayser comes on for the bloodied Dimitri Szarzewski.

56 mins: O'Gara is handed a wonderful opportunity to increase Ireland's lead when Clement Poitrenaud finds himself stranded after opting for one counter attack too many. However, the Munster fly-half pushes the touchline kick wide right.

54 mins: DROP-GOAL Ireland 20-18 France
More loose kicking from O'Gara to the French back three leaves the Ireland defence scrambling. Beauxis has time on the ball and decides to settle for the three points.

50 mins: TRY Ireland 20-15 France
From out of nowhere, France are back in game. O'Gara launches an aimless kick into the sky which his side fails to collect. France counter and Beauxis fires a wonderful kick to the wing. The ball bounces kindly and Maxime Medard, sporting some wonderful sideburns, is able to touch down. Beauxis misses the conversion.

49 mins: Dazed Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery is forced off, Rory Best comes on.

48 mins: Suddenly the zip has gone from the French, who apparently were given a rocket from coach Marc Lievremont at the break. Chabal finds himself in midfield but knocks on a simple pass.

43 mins: TRY Ireland 20-10 France
Big names for big games - and Brian O'Driscoll shows why he is still so important for Ireland. The home side take quick ball off the top of a line-out, it is fed to O'Driscoll who puts on the gas to leave his man stranded. He then steps off his left to stump Julien Malzieu and the try is his. Sublime. O'Gara kicks the conversion.

41 mins: Ronan O'Gara starts the second half. Beauxis clears but does not find touch. Sub for France, prop Nicolas Mas replaces Benoit Lecouls.

"The second half was disappointing. We had two or three opportunities to initiate attacks but errors cost us. We did some good things but there are plenty of things we need to improve on."
England manager Martin Johnson

"The standard is very high. The invention is there all the time. The intensity of the tackling is incredible but the control has been very good."
BBC pundit Keith Wood

1756: Ireland managed to get through that first half without conceding a penalty. What discipline. France have conceded six.

"Brilliant first half. What a difference from the first game."
TomosANTIGUATomos on 606

HALF-TIME: Ireland 13-10 France
Phew. What a half. That was like watching rugby in colour compared to the monochrome nonsense served up earlier this afternoon. If you didn't like that then there must be something wrong with you.

40+1 mins: DROP-GOAL Ireland 13-10 France
France pile forward and with time running out, they decide to take the three. Lionel Beauxis sitting back in the pocket to drill a 35m drop-goal.

39 mins: It all goes a bit scrappy in midfield but the monster that is Sebastien Chabal sorts out the mess by picking up the ball and charging downfield. Wing Tommy Bowe does a superb job of dragging the Sale man down and then getting to his feet to contest the ruck ball.

37 mins: Paddy Wallace returns to the field.

34 mins: TRY Ireland 13-7 France
This game could be developing into an absolute cracker and it's Ireland turn to produce a scintillating try. Full-back Rob Kearney, who is surely on the Lions plane to South Africa, shows a nice touch to release Tommy Bowe and put Ireland on the front foot. Number eight Jamie Heaslip is played in and storms through a gap in midfield, and puts in a wonderful step, to score from 30m out to put Ireland in front. O'Gara kicks the conversion.

33 mins: Good line-out work from France however as captain Lionel Nallet collects cleanly and the visitors clear.

32 mins: Lovely kick to touch from O'Gara. It bounces just before the line and now France have a line-out deep in their own 22.

31 mins: Ireland win a penalty after flanker Thierry Dusautoir is penalised for not rolling away following his tackle on wing Tommy Bowe. O'Gara misses from 40m.

28 mins: There is a bit of breather as numerous players are treated for knocks. Hardly a surprise with the pace of the game so far. Paddy Wallace goes off for a blood bin and is replaced by Gordon D'Arcy.

"Italy and England could have played all night and we would have never seen anything as entertaining as the last two minutes."
TomosANTIGUATomos on 606

25 mins: France do what they do best as the ball goes through numerous pairs of hands to carve Ireland open. The home side scramble well however, and win turnover ball in their own 22. This is how rugby should be played.

20 mins: Brian O'Driscoll drives back Beauxis in midfield with a thumping tackle.

17 mins: PENALTY Ireland 6-7 France
Ireland hit back immediately after the restart as O'Gara slots over a straightforward penalty.

15 mins: TRY Ireland 3-7 France
What a fantastic score from the visitors. Full-back Clement Poitrenaud starts the whole thing off by coming into the line and crashing through Ronan O'Gara. The French spin the ball wide and wing Maxime Medard, of whom so much is expected this year, keeps the attack alive with a cute grubber. Lionel Beauxis then fires out a long pass, Sebastien Chabal offloads to Julien Malzieu, who in turn passes inside to Harinordoquy for the score. Brilliant. Beauxis adds the conversion.

12 mins: Lovely stuff from number eight Imanol Harinordoquy. The Biarritz player picks up from the base of a scrum near halfway and delivers a pass one-handed to a colleague outside him. Play is concentrated between the two 40m lines at the moment.

9 mins: France are in the Ireland 22 but concede a penalty at an Irish scrum when number nine Sebastien Tillous-Borde strays offside.

8 mins: Now it is France's turn to enjoy some ball. They create a bit of space with some accurate passing that puts the ball in front of the man. It's nice to watch. An England fan in the office correctly observes that we have seen more rugby in eight minutes in this game than we saw in 80 minutes at Twickenham.

5 mins: Nice kick to touch from fly-half Lionel Beauxis places Ireland deep in their 22. It's a tidy line-out from the home side as Jerry Flannery finds John Hayes at the back.

"O'Driscoll is the type of player England are missing. One with heart and passion and of course great ability."
The Anderson, Rafael and Fabio Posse(bon)! on 606

3 mins: PENALTY Ireland 3-0 France
French prop Lionel Faure is pinged for not rolling away at the tackle area and Ronan O'Gara calmly slots over the kick. Good start for the home side.

1 mins: France start the game and Ireland immediately attack down the wing. That's an encouraging sight in light of the dreadful 80 minutes we have just seen at Twickenham.

1703: Anthems over. The players take off their training tops and we are good to go. Croke Park is rocking.

1702: A quick reminder of the Dublin teams for you.

Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, B O'Driscoll (capt), P Wallace, Fitzgerald; O'Gara, O'Leary; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.
Replacements: R Best, Court, O'Kelly, Leamy, Stringer, D'Arcy, G Murphy.

France: Poitrenaud; Malzieu, Fritz, Jauzion, Medard; Beauxis, Tillous-Borde; Faure, Szarzewski, Lecouls, Chabal, Nallet; Dusautoir, Ouedraogo, Harinordoquy.
Replacements: Kayser, Mas, Millo-Chluski, Picamoles, Parra, Baby, Heymans.

"A superb England performance, should have won by much more, bring on the Welsh! On route for the Grand Slam."
legrandblue66 on 606

1658: No rest for the wicked. Ireland and France are lined up at Croke Park and we are just about to the start the anthems.

"England were so bad it's unreal! Italy just gifted them a win in the end, shame Mallet didn't have the confidence to start a proper scrum half."
Klesk2000 on 606

"England need some more emotion and more aggression, there is massive room for improvement. I don't think Wales would have seen anything to be troubled by."
BBC pundit Lawrence Dallaglio

"I would bring in some inspiration for next week, England need a spark."
BBC pundit Jeremy Guscott

"There were no patterns and no continuity and in the second half England lost the contact area. It's a bit flat."
BBC pundit Jonathan Davies

FULL-TIME: England 36-11 Italy
England score five tries to get their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start. But to be honest, that was not good from Martin Johnson's men. Harry Ellis, the man-of-the-match, admits the scoreline "flattered" his side. If Italy had started the game with a proper scrum-half, the game could have been so very different.

78 mins: TRY England 36-11 Italy
Sale wing Mark Cueto, making his first England appearance since the World Cup final in 2007, scores in the corner despite almost being bundled out. Goode adds the extras from the touchline.

"To be fair Noon didn't do badly today, so no massive complaints in the end from me that he played."
Bathfanman on 606

74 mins: Geraghty returns to the pitch while Tom Croft and Mathew Tait replace Nick Kennedy and Jamie Noon. Why Tait has not been brought on before now baffles me completely.

72 mins: TRY England 29-11 Italy
It is going from bad to worse for England. McLean makes a superb break after an aimless kick from Goode but Delon Armitage covers to bring him down near the corner flag. The ball is recycled and even though Italy try their best to spurn the overlap, Mirco Bergamasco dives over for a try their second-half performance totally deserves. McLean misses the conversion.

"England to finish fifth this year, four gifted tries, no ideas, no spark, no progress!"
Mark, Horsham via text on 81111

69 mins: Worsley takes the ball into contact on halfway but holds onto it and Italy, who are looking the better side at the moment, win the penalty.

64 mins: SIN-BIN
Geraghty, who has been on for just four minutes, sees yellow for tackling Luke McLean while the Italian sub is in the air. Poor. Very poor. Martin Johnson holds his head in his hands in the stands. Joe Worsley comes on for Steffon Armitage.

62 mins: Big let-off for England. Delon Armitage takes too long to make his clearance kick on the 22 and it is charged down by open-side flanker Alessandro Zanni. However, Zanni knocks on the loose ball and the chance goes.

60 mins: More England subs. Ben Foden wins his first cap, replacing Ellis, while Shane Geraghty and Julian White come on for Riki Flutey and Andrew Sheridan.

59 mins: After another mistake from England, Brian Moore says the fans at Twickenham should get a rebate on their match tickets. "It's all going wrong for everyone in every sense," he says. Couldn't agree with him more.

"Oh boy - this game is a hoot, and for all the wrong reasons."
Aussie-Rugger on 606

56 mins: Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley comes on for Lee Mears.

54 mins: TRY England 29-6 Italy
Finally England get some quick ball. Riki Flutey breaks but offloads in the tackle to Harry Ellis in support. The Leicester man sees a massive gap in the Italy defence and runs through the hole for his second try of the day. Goode kicks the easy conversion.

49 mins: Howls of derision from my colleagues in the office as England run out of ideas with ball in hand. It's all too slow and static from an England point of view I'm afraid. Goode sits back in the pocket for a drop-goal attempt but the pass to him is not the best and the ball flies wide. There are a few whistles at Twickenham.

48 mins: Wing Mark Cueto charges down Kaine Robertson's attempted clearance and Italy's creaking line-out holds firm deep in their own 22.

45 mins: Haskell is back after his sin-binning and his return is greeted with some harsh words from commentator Brian Moore. "He shouldn't have been off in the first place, if he had any sense," scowls the former hooker. Quite.

41 mins: Italy start the second half and immediately there is a difference in their play as Toniolatti is able to give the ball some width.

"You don't feel that England have moved on from the autumn internationals. This half is now very important for them."
BBC pundit Jeremy Guscott

1600: Italy are back on the field, with the inexperienced Giulio Toniolatti now at scrum-half for just his second cap. The hapless Mauro Bergamasco is not even moved to the back row and will watch the rest of the match from the bench.

"The most concerning stat for England is that they have conceded 10 penalties, and they have not been placed under any pressure."
BBC pundit Lawrence Dallaglio

"Don't think the other four nations will be shaking in their boots looking at that first half. Italy making England look like world beaters at the moment."
richie4eva1 on 606

"Is this the Six Nations?? Has there been a worse performance by a team than Italy's so far?"
Lee in York, via text on 81111

"Mauro Bergamasco's performance is the worst I have seen by an international player in decades probably. The scrum-half is a vital cog in the machine and when that breaks down, it's a disaster."
BBC pundit Jonathan Davies

HALF-TIME: England 22-6 Italy
What a bizarre half. Mauro Bergamasco is having a shocker and Italy do not like scoring any tries while England have one man in the sin-bin and are conceding a truckload of penalties. The stats say that despite the scoreline, Italy have had more of the ball and more territory. Weird.

40+2 mins:
Have a great chance to reduce the deficit when Andrew Sheridan is beasted by Martin Castrogiovanni at scrum time. McLean's kick comes back off the post however.

39 mins: PENALTY England 22-6 Italy
More indiscipline from England and McLean makes it two kicks from two.

37 mins: SIN-BIN
Silly, silly, silly from James Haskell. He trips Gonzalo Canale off the ball after the centre chips over the top. The Wasps man is making a bit of a habit of this, he was one of the four that saw yellow against New Zealand in November.

35 mins: PENALTY England 22-3 Italy
England charge forward after the restart and Leicester's Martin Castrogiovanni is penalised for hands in the ruck. Goode increases England's lead.

34 mins: PENALTY England 19-3 Italy
England concede a penalty, I have to concede that I didn't see what for as I was trying to catch up from earlier. Anyway, McLean gets the three points for his side.

29 mins: Luke McLean comes on for the injured Andrea Marcato.

28 mins: TRY England 19-0 Italy
Oh dear, oh dear. Italy have possession in England's half but Mauro Bergamasco fires a dreadful pass over the head of centre Gonzalo Garcia and England are onto the loose ball in a flash. The ball is hacked on, Riki Flutey collects, and the home side are handed their third try. Italy have to change things now surely. Goode adds the extras.

"Are Italy really Six Nations standard? This is just a practice game for England."
panchopuskas on 606

"Italy are playing very very poorly...not lucky tries, just handed to England on a plate. Won't happen against stronger opposition."
The Man From Viltheed on 606

22 mins: The line-out is becoming another major concern for Italy as hooker Ongaro misses his jumpers again, allowing England to win possession.

21 mins: More promise for England as they split the Italian defence. London Irish lock Nick Kennedy charges down the wing and should pass inside but he is dumped by a robust tackle. The ball is spread wide but Goode knocks on and the chance goes.

18 mins: TRY England 12-0 Italy
Italy are sloppy at a ruck after Mauro Bergamasco joins the pile of bodies rather than staying in the number nine position. The ball bounces off the legs of Gloucester's Marco Bortolami, no-one in blue is there to collect but James Haskell does. The Wasps flanker flicks it up to scrum-half Harry Ellis who has the simple task of running in for the second try. Goode's radar is not working at the moment and he misses the conversion.

17 mins: Hmmm. Goode has another shot at goal but a perfectly kickable penalty goes wide.

16 mins: England pile forward after a Mauro Bergamasco punt goes far too long but the ball is eventually snaffled by Parisse.

"England are already conceding lots of penalties. Surely they must work on their discipline."
eirebilly on 606

12 mins: Italy have a chance to get on the scoreboard when Jamie Noon is pinged for not allowing Ongaro to get back on his feet. However, Andrea Marcato is way wide with the kick.

10 mins: Not to put too fine a point on it, Mauro Bergamasco is having a shocker at scrum-half - with his passing and positioning very suspect. This is going to be a long afternoon for him.

8 mins: Less than 10 minutes gone, and we see the first bit of biff at Twickers. Borthwick tries to carry but the Italian defence put in a massive hit and the Sarries forward is carried back at a rate of knots. As Borthwick tries to get back on his feet there is a bit of pushing and shoving with James Haskell and Martin Castrogiovanni the main protagonists.

5 mins: Italy are all over the place at the moment. They concede a penalty for offside almost immediately after the restart but Goode misses with his attempt.

2 mins: TRY England 7-0 Italy
What a start for England. Hooker Fabio Ongaro makes a complete horlicks of his line-out throw in Italy's 22, England collect and Andy Goode just gets on the end of his own grubber into the in-goal area to score with one minute, 33 seconds on the clock. That's one way of settling the nerves. The Brive fly-half dusts himself down to kick the extras.

1 min: Andy Goode begins the 2009 Six Nations. Italy collect and try and go through the phases although Mauro Bergamasco has a shaky start.

1457: Lock Steve Borthwick, with the Martin Corry captain's cut on his nose, leads out England to a huge roar from the Twickenham faithful. He then shouts his final instructions to his players in the huddle before they break for the anthems. Here we go.

"England by 12, France by 10."
MurraycarriesGB on 606

1455: Hear come Italy, led by Sergio Parisse. Almost there folks.

"So the Six Nations kicks off with the wooden spoon playoff..."
Strip It Down on 606

"The focus of all northern hemisphere sides must be on finishing. This was a critical difference between the likes of South Africa and New Zealand and the home unions in the autumn. They might get away with it in this tournament but the Lions series and next autumn's matches will be the yardstick against which any progress will be measured."
Anon via text on 81111

1448: Nice little tale ahead of the big kick-off. England will apparently be wearing different shirts to what they were expecting today as the company that supplies them is snowed in and as Steffon Armitage is making his debut, last night his name was sewn into his shirt especially.

"In the back-row the key is to have chemistry and balance. You need that mobility and hopefully that's what Steffon Armitage will bring."
England World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio

1445: The England and Italy players go through their final warm ups on the Twickenham pitch and it is the Italians who leave for the dressing room first. The stadium is still quite empty as the players are introduced to the crowd, obviously still grabbing a final drink. Just 15 minutes to go now so I reckon it's prediction time: England 20-9 Italy, Ireland 23-25 France.

"Why does Lievremont always make crazy selections? On that note, anyone know why the form winger in Europe (Thom Evans) isn't in the Scotland 22?"
Anonymous via text on 81111

"It's a new year, with new ambitions. I am pleased to hear Lievremont talking about winning it. There are still a few gambles in the team and it's going to be interesting today."
Former France captain Raphael Ibanez

"I just want to see a bit more pace and urgency to England's game, if we don't have that we're in trouble. I think Italy will be beaten today but my hopes for England in this tournament are not high."
Uninventivename on 606

1429: France boss Marc Lievremont had an experimental start to his Six Nations coaching career last year and that has continued with the selection of Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Lionel Beuaxis at half-back for the Ireland contest. It's the first time they have played together at Test level. Interesting.

"Every time you play France, you can lose the game in the first 20 minutes but you can't win it. If you can get in there at the end you can finish it off. I'm confident."
Former Ireland hooker Keith Wood

"This year's championship is the most eagerly awaited in years! Most of the sides produced promising performances in the autumn which means that the Six Nations is again going to confirm itself as the best rugby tournament in the world."
Craig, Glasgow via text on 81111

"Expectations are low in Ireland....isn't that when we do best? Need some of our "big guns" to shine but catching France cold at home in the first match could be exactly the start we need."
lawros_moustache on 606

1414: Ireland coach Declan Kidney needs a good start in Dublin following a mixed start to his tenure during the autumn internationals. The omens are not great for his side however, as the Irish have lost their last seven matches against France and have not beaten them in the Six Nations since 2003.

And Ireland fans will not want to remember the last time France travelled to Croke Park, when Vincent Clerc scored in the final minute to hand the visitors a dramatic 20-17 victory in 2007.

"Off to my mate's house for the two games and will be watching on his 90 inch projector screen. Not happy with the selection in the back line though, Geraghty deserves to start with Tait replacing Tindall. It has, though, given me much pleasure seeing Noon's thunderous tackles. Putting a flanker at scrum-half says it all for Italy."
fakz_89 on 606

1405: Television pictures are showing the England team arriving at a cold, crisp and sunny Twickenham. Andy Goode steps off the coach with a popular brand of mp3 player plugged into his ears - wondering what he is listening to? Great stat for you: he is the eighth fly-half to be selected for England in the last two years. Continuity anyone?

"It's a little bit insulting that a flanker thinks he can go out there and play in a pivotal position. It's more than just passing or kicking the ball. It worries me a little bit about where the next crop of talent is coming from in Italy."
Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson on BBC Radio 5 Live

"England by 30, Ireland by one and a draw on Sunday would be a nice start back!! Come on Ireland."
colindaniel on 606

"This is Scotland's year, its all set for them to shock England again like '99."
Charlie, Brighton via text on 81111

"Have just wagered on a narrow Italian victory. Poor England team on paper and the Azzuri have nothing two lose!"
Jeff, Cardiff via text on 81111

1348: Italy coach Nick Mallett is ready to launch his second Six Nations campaign and has responded to his scrum-half injury crisis by naming flanker Mauro Bergamasco at number nine. The move could be a stroke of genius or it could fail spectacularly. One thing is for sure, Ellis and Steffon Armitage are in for a busy afternoon.

Just in case you didn't know, Italy have never beaten England in 14 attempts but have been getting closer over the last few years. Last year in Rome, England survived an Italian fightback to scrape home 23-19.

1343: Massive game for Martin Johnson's England this afternoon. The humbling defeats against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand in the autumn are still fresh in the memory and Johnson, if he didn't realise before, knows he has a big task to get the English chariot back on track.

On the team news front, outside centre Mike Tindall joined England's extensive injury list on Friday night, with Newcastle's Jamie Noon taking his place. Noon's selection ahead of Mathew Tait, who is on the bench, probably says a lot about England's approach to this game.

Brive fly-half Andy Goode, who is the leading points scorer in the French Top 14 this season, takes the number 10 shirt in the absence of Toby Flood, Jonny Wilkinson and the out-of-favour Danny Cipriani.

Harry Ellis replaces the injured Danny Care at scrum-half, while London Irish open-side flanker Steffon Armitage wins his debut following the injuries to Tom Rees, Lewis Moody and Michael Lipman.

One question England fans: happy with that selection?

"I can hardly wait for it all to start. Will Italy shock the rugby world? Is the French manager too much of a loose canon with his selections? Does the same apply to Frank Hadden? Will the pressure on the Welsh team prove to be too big a burden with huge expectation from back home? And that's just the first set of games!! Happy days just does not come close!!
beaucastel on 606

1338: What an opening day we have in store. England take on Italy at Twickenham at 1500 GMT while Ireland host France in Dublin at 1700 GMT. The games are both live on BBC One, with the England contest also on BBC Radio 5 Live, while I'll be taking you through both games on here. You lucky, lucky people.

However, I can't do this all on my own. I want all your fears, hopes, predictions, bets as well as details of where you'll be watching the action. Let's have all your chat on 606 or via text on 81111 (with RUGBYU as the first word) and I'll use as many contributions as I can. Go on, you know you want to.

1330: Be honest with me, did you leap out of bed a little quicker than normal this morning? Did you feel the twinge of excitement as you ate your breakfast and put on the replica shirt that was ironed days ago? Are there just a few nerves in the stomach as you ponder whether your country can match or improve on last year's finish? Don't worry, it's the opening weekend of the 2009 Six Nations and I can confidently predict that you are not the only one.

Yep, it's that time of year again folks, when Europe's finest do battle in a competition where passion, rivalry, history and tradition come together in one of the showpiece events of the sporting calendar. Feeling it? Thought so.

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see also
Ireland 30-21 France
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
England 36-11 Italy
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations set for big kick-off
06 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations guide 2009
28 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Review - 2008 Six Nations season
02 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Noon to replace injured Tindall
06 Feb 09 |  English
How does Johnson revive England?
02 Feb 09 |  English
Jeremy Guscott column
03 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Nervous wait for England's newest star
30 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Bergamasco handed scrum-half role
04 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Can Ireland still trust in BOD?
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Tillous-Borde selected for France
03 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions Watch
06 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 13-26 Wales
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union

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