Wales eyeing England switch for Six Nations home games

·2-min read

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) are looking to play their home Six Nations matches in England, according to reports in the British media.

With restrictions imposed by Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford banning crowds from sports stadiums, the WRU are looking at alternatives.

There are currently no restrictions at stadiums in England, despite the rising cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a leading candidate

The Daily Mail are therefore reporting that the governing body are considering moving their games across the border, with Tottenham Hotspur Stadium among those being suggested.

Wales have three home matches in the 2022 tournament – against Scotland, France and Italy – but should they go ahead without supporters, it would see the sport take a significant financial hit in the country.

There is still a month to go until the start of the competition but there are no suggestions that restrictions will be eased any time soon.

Scotland are in a similar situation, with only 500 people able to attend games, while France and Ireland are allowing maximum capacities of 5,000.

There are no issues with cross-border travel, which means fans from Scotland and Wales could watch matches in England.

It is an idea which has been supported by Lions and Scottish great Sir Ian McGeechan, who wrote in his Telegraph column: “The possibility of moving matches to English venues is certainly intriguing.

“For Scotland, where the maximum capacity at outdoor games is 500, and Wales, where no fans are allowed, the possibility of playing at St James’ Park or the Ricoh Arena would surely be preferable.

“And there are currently no legal restrictions preventing fans from crossing the border.

“It would require sign-off by the respective governments. And it is difficult to see how the Scottish government, in particular, would allow it given it recently tried to stop families crossing the border to celebrate New Year’s Eve. But it is worth a conversation.

“I would like to see the Six Nations exhaust all possibilities first, to allow as many fans as possible to attend. Crowds are what give games energy.

“The possibility must surely be explored, at least for Wales and Scotland. As a player, given the choice of playing in an empty stadium at Murrayfield or a full house of Scots just over the border, I know which I would have chosen.”

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