Ireland set for Paris opener in next year's Six Nations
Ireland start and finish with the two traditionally toughest fixtures in the 2018 Six Nations after organisers released the schedule yesterday.
Joe Schmidt's men kick off their campaign against France in Paris next season, before bringing it to a close against England at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day.
In between, they will take on Italy, Wales and Scotland at home as they bid to reclaim the title they last won in 2015.
Ireland fans have avoided Friday night fixtures for the next two seasons after France were handed one each year, both at home. Next season, Les Bleus could take their Friday game against Italy out of Paris, while a year later they open the tournament with a Friday night game against Wales.
In 2019, Ireland begin what is likely to be Schmidt's final Championship at home to Eddie Jones' men and end the campaign against Wales in Cardiff.
2018 Six Nations fixtures
February 3: Wales v Scotland, 2.15; France v Ireland, 4.45.
February 4: Italy v England, 3.0.
February 10: Ireland v Italy, 2.15; England v Wales, 4.45.
February 11: Scotland v France, 3.0.
February 23: France v Italy, 8.0 (venue TBC);
February 24: Ireland v Wales, 2.15; Scotland v England, 4.45.
March 10: Ireland v Scotland, 2.15; France v England, 4.45.
March 11: Wales v Italy, 3.0.
March 17: Italy v Scotland, 12.30; England v Ireland, 2.45; Wales v France, 5.0.
2019 Six Nations fixtures
February 1: France v Wales, 8.0.
February 2: Scotland v Italy, 2.15; Ireland v England, 4.45.
February 9: Scotland v Ireland, 2.15; Italy v Wales, 4.45. February 10: England v France, 3.0.
February 23: France v Scotland, 2.15; Wales v England, 4.45.
February 24: Italy v Ireland, 3.0.
March 9: Scotland v Wales, 2.15; England v Italy, 4.45.
March 10: Ireland v France, 3.0.
March 16: Italy v France, 12.30; Wales v Ireland, 2.45; England v Scotland, 5.0.