Wales WILL be able to play Six Nations matches at home to the packed Principality Stadium after Covid-19 rules are relaxed to admit fans
- Wales Prime Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed easing of Covid-19 rules
- There will be a massive crowd at the Principality Stadium for Six Nations games
- From January 21 in Wales, full crowds will be allowed to attend outdoor events
- News from returning fans is a big boost for the WRU that would have lost money
Wales will be supported by packed crowds for their three Six Nations home games after the country’s prime minister, Mark Drakeford, confirmed easing of Covid-19 rules.
On Boxing Day, Drakeford responded to the rising wave of the Omicron variant by introducing new restrictions, including that large outdoor events must take place without supporters.
On Friday, Drakeford revealed that in a phased process, up to 500 people will be allowed to participate in outdoor events from Saturday, January 15.
The WRU allows Wales to play to full houses in the Six Nations
From January 21, full groups will be allowed to attend outdoor events.
It means a capacity gate is now in place 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 are delighted that the full crowd can return for the Six Nations in Wales,” said Steve Phillips, the director of the Welsh Rugby Union.
“The difference a crowd makes to performance on the pitch is immeasurable and some of our senior players have spoken out about the positive impact a full house can have in Cardiff. “The atmosphere fans bring to the Principality Stadium is unparalleled and this news will be greatly welcomed by coaches and players alike.
“Having seen the 2021 Six Nations tournament without crowds, the recent update from the Welsh Government is hugely encouraging.
“We all want to see a full house at all three games, but because of the pandemic we are now in a race against time to achieve what would normally come naturally.
Wales Prime Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed an easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Wales
“This is especially the case for the game against Scotland, given its proximity.
“It’s no secret that supporters have been waiting to see what would happen with restrictions, but today’s hugely positive news should spark another wave for tickets.”
Current Six Nations champions Wales will begin defending their crowns to Ireland on February 5 before welcoming Scotland to Cardiff.
The news of returning fans is a big boost for the WRU, which would have lost more than £20 million in revenue if they had been forced to play three home games behind closed doors.
To prevent that, WRU bosses had looked to contingency plans and the possibility of playing Six Nations matches in England, but now such a scenario is not necessary.
The first professional rugby match to welcome fans to Wales will be the Scarlets Heineken Champions Cup game against Bristol Bears at Llanelli on January 22.
Wales set to face Scotland, France and Italy at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff
“I am delighted to say that we look forward to welcoming supporters back to the Principality Stadium for the Six Nations in 2022,” Phillips added.
“This decision by the Welsh Government comes at the right time for Welsh rugby, not just at international level, but for the entire professional game and for our community clubs.
“We are in a unique position where three weeks after the game in Scotland tickets are still available from both the member clubs and the WRU directly.
“This is a great opportunity for supporters who don’t normally get the chance to see a Six Nations game, to get their hands on them.”