Wales WILL be able to play home Six Nations games in front of packed Principality Stadium after Covid-19 rules are relaxed to allow fans in
- Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed a relaxing of Covid-19 rules
- There will be packed crowds at the Principality Stadium for Six Nations games
- Full crowds will be allowed to attend outdoor events from January 21 in Wales
- News of returning fans is a big boost for the WRU who would have lost money
Wales are set to be backed by capacity crowds for their three Six Nations home matches after the country’s First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed a relaxing of Covid-19 rules.
On Boxing Day, Drakeford responded to the surging wave of the Omicron variant by implementing new restrictions, one of which was that large outdoor events must take place without supporters.
On Friday, Drakeford revealed that in a staged process, up to 500 people will now be allowed to attend outdoor events from Saturday, January 15.
The WRU will be allowed to have Wales play in front of packed houses in the Six Nations
Full crowds will be allowed to attend outdoor events from January 21.
It means a capacity gate is now set to cheer on Wayne Pivac’s Wales side when they host Scotland in their first home game of the 2022 Six Nations on February 12.
‘We’re delighted full crowds can return for the Six Nations in Wales,’ said Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Steve Phillips.
‘The difference a crowd makes to performance on the field is immeasurable and a number of our senior players have been very vocal about the positive impact a capacity crowd in Cardiff can make. ‘The atmosphere supporters bring to Principality Stadium is unrivalled and this news will be greatly welcomed by coaches and players.
‘Having watched the Six Nations 2021 tournament without crowds, the recent update from Welsh Government is hugely encouraging.
‘We all want to see capacity crowds at all three games but, because of the pandemic, we are now in a race against time to achieve what would usually come naturally.
Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed a relaxing of Welsh Covid-19 restrictions
‘This is especially the case for the match against Scotland given its proximity.
‘It’s no secret supporters have been waiting to see what would happen with restrictions, but the hugely positive news today should kick start a fresh surge for tickets.’
Current Six Nations champions Wales start the defence of their crown away to Ireland on February 5 before welcoming Scotland to Cardiff.
The news of returning fans is a big boost for the WRU who would have missed out on more than £20million in revenue if they’d been forced to play three home matches behind closed doors.
In order to avoid doing just that, WRU bosses had looked at contingency plans and the possibility of playing Six Nations matches in England, but now such a scenario will not be required.
The first rugby professional rugby match to welcome back fans in Wales will be the Scarlets’ Heineken Champions Cup clash with Bristol Bears in Llanelli on January 22.
Wales are scheduled to face Scotland, France and Italy at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff
‘It is with great pleasure I am able to say we look forward to welcoming supporters back to Principality Stadium for the 2022 Six Nations,’ Phillips added.
‘This decision from Welsh Government has come at the right time for Welsh rugby, not just at international level but for the whole of the professional game and for our community clubs.
‘We are in a unique position whereby three weeks out from the Scotland game, there are tickets still available from both member clubs and the WRU directly.
‘This is a great opportunity for supporters who may not normally get the opportunity to see a Six Nations match to snap them up.’
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