The schedule for the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship featuring six of North and South America's top-ranked international teams has been announced.

The ground-breaking competition will provide Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the USA and Uruguay with five additional test matches in an annual competition designed to further strengthen the competition programme of these nations.

"We are delighted to be able to announce the schedule for the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship that will take place next year," Rugby Americas Chairman Agustín Pichot said. "This could not have happened without the hard work and cooperation of all six rugby unions involved.

"We would also like to thank World Rugby for their support. This is a very exciting time for the Americas, with our first truly international tournament, as rugby continues to thrive and prosper in this region."

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "These are exciting times for rugby in the Americas and this new Americas Rugby Championship will deliver annual high-level competition for all the teams, while enabling the sport to reach and inspire new audiences across the continents at a time when our sport is experiencing unprecedented growth. I would like to congratulate and thank the unions and Rugby Americas for their full commitment to making this ground-breaking competition happen."

Kicking off on the weekend of 6-7 February in British Columbia (Canada), Houston (USA) and Santiago (Chile), the Americas Rugby Championship will run through to the weekend of 5-6 March.

Brazil, Chile and the United States will each host three matches, while Argentina, Canada, and Uruguay will host two matches apiece.

The second round of competition, held the weekend of 13-14 February, features three ‘derbies’. Canada travel south across the border to face the USA Eagles while Chile and Uruguay cross over to Argentina and Brazil respectively. Brazil's first-ever match against Canada will come in the third round of competition, while at the same time Chile will play their first test in the United States since 2002.

Following three weeks of matches spread as far north as Canada and as far south as Montevideo, the final two weekends of the Americas Rugby Championship will be contested solely in the southern hemisphere.

Information regarding specific dates, match times, and broadcast coverage for the historic Pan-American tournament will be released in due course.

Americas Rugby Championship 2016 fixtures:

Round 1 – Weekend of 6-7 Feb
Canada v Uruguay
USA v Argentina
Chile v Brazil

Round 2 – Weekend of 13-14 Feb 
USA v Canada
Argentina v Chile
Brazil v Uruguay

Round 3 – Weekend of 20-21 Feb
Canada v Brazil
USA v Chile
Uruguay v Argentina

Round 4 – Weekend of 27-28 Feb
Argentina v Canada
Brazil v USA
Chile v Uruguay

Round 5 – Weekend of 5-6 March 
Chile v Canada
Uruguay v USA
Brazil v Argentina

Photo credit: Maximiliano Aceiton/Fotogramax Sports