SCOTLAND’S coronavirus-delayed final match of the 2020 Six Nations against Wales on 31st October will be played at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, the home of the Scarlets regional side.
With the Principality Stadium out of action due to being redeployed as an emergency hospital to help support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Welsh Rugby Union have been exploring options elsewhere in Wales, and also some of the bigger venues in London where it was hoped there would be scope for some sort of meaningful, socially-distanced crowd.
However, with the recent upturn in the number of COVID-19 cases leading to a tightening of government restrictions, it now seems inevitable that at least the start of the Autumn schedule will have to be played behind closed doors, so the decision has been made to host both the Scotland match and Wales’ opening Autumn Nations Cup game against Georgia on 21st November on home soil.
The WRU has kept the option of playing their two remaining home Autumn Nations Cup matches – against England on 28th November and the play-off final fixture on 5th December – in London, in order to maximise potential revenue.
“We have taken the call to play our first two home matches this autumn in Wales,” said WRU CEO Steve Phillips.
“Given how vital Wales games are to the funding of our sport, it was only right that every option was explored.
“Obviously more important than that is the health of supporters, players and the nation as a whole and so, whilst making contingency plans, we have of course been conscious of following government advice closely every step of the way.
“We anticipate the two games will take place behind closed doors, however, if the ‘big picture’ changes, we would be open to exploring whether either game could serve as a test event for crowds.”
“We hope that supporters will understand that we are duty bound to continue to explore all options before making a final call with respect to England and the Autumn Nations Cup final match,” Phillips continued.
“We are hopeful that it will be deemed safe for at least some, perhaps socially distanced and restricted, crowds to attend these matches and also remain open to the prospect of using the Parc y Scarlets fixtures as test events with limited attendances if possible.
“Whilst it is disappointing to play these matches without supporters we would like to thank all of those who follow, support and participate in Welsh rugby and our partners for their patience during these hugely challenging times.”
- The venue for the Womens’ Six Nations Wales vs Scotland game will be announced shortly.