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- Welsh rugby union player
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is worried by the negative effect playing behind closed doors could have on the success of his country’s defence of their Six Nations title.
Wayne Pivac’s troops’ first home Test is against Scotland in Cardiff on February 12 but, under Covid restrictions imposed by Wales’ Government, only 50 spectators are allowed to watch outdoor events.
Omicron case numbers rising
The guidelines are reviewed on a weekly basis but Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, will not give assurances that spectators will be allowed to return in time for the Six Nations as case numbers for the Omicron Covid-19 variant continue to rise.
Meanwhile, sporting events in England have escaped restrictions for the time being, so Wales’ visit to Twickenham on February 26 will unfold before a full house of 82,000.
Biggar insists that unless the rules are eased, Pivac’s side will be surrendering the benefit of playing in Cardiff.
“It would be great if we could have fans, wouldn’t it? You see what a difference it makes to an occasion. You saw it in the autumn, getting crowds back,” the Northampton and Lions playmaker said.
“Everyone coming to games now has to have a passport, they’ll be double or triple-jabbed and it’s an outdoor event, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t be allowed in. As long as it’s safe, that’s the most important thing.
“It would be a huge, huge step backwards if there are no crowds for clubs and the Six Nations, which is obviously such a show-piece event.
“We played a lot of games with no crowds and if you look at the first handful of them, they almost felt like training games.
“It felt like it did not really matter whether you won or lost because it felt like a training match and the intensity was knocked out of it. You lose any advantage of playing at home.”
Scotland, Ireland and France also have restrictions on numbers in place, while in Italy full houses are permitted as long as fans have proof of vaccination.
“I’m just relieved to have signed for a club in England. I think the rest of the lads in Wales are pretty frustrated with it. That’s normal, frustration, isn’t it?” Biggar said.
“We are probably getting into different things with politics now, but I think everything should be aligned.
“I hope for an event like the Six Nations and for the game up and down the UK moving forward that we get some sort of sensible outcome.
“As long as everyone is safe and double jabbed then I think it makes sense to keep crowds in.”
Biggar has 18 months left on his Northampton contract and the 32-year-old is determined to end his stay at Franklin’s Gardens with a trophy in the cabinet.
“I know we’ve slipped out the top four but if we beat Saracens on Sunday we’re probably going to climb straight back into it,” he said.
“If we can push for silverware in the next 18 months, that’s a huge aim for me. The club deserves to be pushing for that.”
Meanwhile, Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe has revealed the struggles he endured in the midst of battling back from a horrific knee injury sustained in August 2019.
Anscombe ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a World Cup warm-up against England which forced him to miss the global tournament.
Despite that disappointment, the fly-half was initially only expected to be out for nine months, but he suffered a number of setbacks.
“It has been a really dark road,” Anscombe told the Daily Mail. “I was in freefall for a big part of my life. My surgeon told me I needed to get my head around the prospect of not playing again.
“I was anxious, frustrated, angry and scared. I just wanted to move on with my life even if rugby wasn’t in it and at one stage we were seriously looking at that.
“To even be back playing now is a success really, because there were a lot of people who questioned whether I could do that.”
The article ‘No fans at Six Nations Tests bad for Wales’ – Dan Biggar appeared first on Planetrugby.com.