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Jonathan Davies suggests Wales’ Six Nations home games should be played in England

06 Jan 2022 4 minute read
Jonathan Davies. Picture by the BBC

Jonathan Davies has suggested that Wales’ Six Nations home games should be played in England.

The BBC pundit and former Welsh rugby international has responded to reports that the WRU is considering the option in response to Covid-19 regulations in Wales.

Davies argued that the WRU has to make decision to “survive” and that there was a lot of “finance involved”. He added that he does not “care” where the team plays.

Under the current rules fans are banned from all sporting events in Wales, including events held indoors and outdoors, and community level sports.

This means the Wales’ home Six Nations fixtures would have to be played behind closed doors. Crowds are currently allowed in England.

The Welsh Government has imposed restrictions in a bid to tackle the spread of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Jonathan Davies told the Telegraph: “When the WRU, the regions and Welsh rugby in general are struggling, I think they have to make a decision to survive.

“That is the important thing here. It’s not about where we play it – can they survive another Six Nations without fans coming in. That’s the decision they have to look at. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would judge them on whatever they did to be honest.

“It happened back in the 1990s when the Principality Stadium was being built. We went to Wembley, some games were successes and some weren’t, but it showed that Welsh fans were willing to travel to support their country. People have to make plans and are waiting on decisions all the time, and there is a lot of finance involved for everyone.”

‘Crowds’ 

He added: “The crowds add so much. I’m sure the Wales players would maybe rather play in England with a crowd than at home with no crowds. That’s a decision they have to make, I suppose. Ultimately, if they don’t get finances in, maybe the players won’t be getting paid by the regions.

“You have games at Christmas being cancelled in Cardiff, and then across the bridge in Bristol there’s a full house. It’s very frustrating. Especially when you saw Harlequins against Northampton, 78,000 in Twickenham for a club game.

“There are a lot of questions to be answered and big decisions to be made. But at the moment it’s all about finances. It’s a waiting game to see when the Welsh government comes out and makes a decision. From what I hear, the WRU haven’t had any communication or guidance from the government yet, and they’re always waiting on those [communications].

“I don’t care where they play, preferably Wales, but it all depends on revenue. They don’t want to take the game elsewhere, but if they need the money they have to look at alternatives.”

Speaking to the BBC, Health Minister Eluned Morgan had said that financial support may not be available to the WRU should they move matches to England.

“We’d be disappointed if the WRU made that decision [to move games to be played in England],” she said.

“There would obviously be financial consequences for them and there is an understanding from the Welsh Government that we would have to step in to support them financially if they did have to postpone those matches or cancel them.

“If they decided to go to England then it would be more difficult for us to come up with that financial support.”

However, Eluned Morgan said it was “early days” for the restrictions.

“Omicron is moving very quickly,” she said. “We’re hoping that we reach the peak and come down very quickly. Two of the matches are due to be played in March, so who knows?”


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Aled Rees
Aled Rees
8 months ago

Play the games at home with a ban on all alcohol sales in the stadium,that should help.and it should make most genuine fans happy.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
8 months ago

It’s this kind of attitude in Welsh rugby of money at all costs and sod the fans that has persuaded me not attend games at the Millennium Stadium. Previously it had been the exorbitant ticket prices when they have paid off the mortgage on the stadium many time over. Now lets fleece the fans and bugger their health! No thanks I’ll stick to my new found love of the FAW where I’ll get to watch heroes for a fraction of the price.

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago

The WRU will move these games to London if fans are prohibited and 70k will travel up and mingle in hospitality. That’s the reality. The sooner the WG name a date for the end of outdoor covid regs the better for them and people’s adherence to understandable indoor Covid regs. If they carry on outdoor restrictions into March as indicated by Eluned Morgan, that would be political insanity and make little public health sense.

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
8 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Fine but why shld we sub the WRU, they make enough money

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

It’s not just the WRU. If these regs carry on for much longer the WG will need to compensate pro and semi-pro football and rugby teams for tens of millions of pounds that could go to the NHS. All in the name of restrictions with very little public health benefit.

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
8 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Agree, its all a bit woolly now

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 months ago

It is a difficult subject and I presume these comments were made before 24 NHS Trusts in England declared critical incidents which allows them to block all admissions and close their A&E departments? Wembley is affected because Northwick Park is one of those involved. The local SAG there would be insane if they allowed games to take place when the local health service no longer operates.
I don’t have a solution but England certainly isn’t feasible as their NHS grinds to a halt with a 90,000 plus nurse shortage.

Jack
Jack
8 months ago

The craziest thing about this story is Eluned Morgan hinting that there could be restrictions on outdoor gatherings in March? The booster rollout is already almost complete, so the idea of outdoor restrictions lasting that long really does seem over the top!

I’m not a fan of the way that the WRU are handling themselves, but the Welsh government do need to be a bit realistic here. Having such tight restrictions for that long will just mean people go to England for stuff instead.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago

What is it with Jiffy and the WRU? They are effectively saying, let’s jump ship like he did and go to play in England whatever the cost.

Look, the simplest way is to sort this out rather than this drastic measure which would please the Tories no end , is for the Welsh Government to allow triple vaccinated fans into the stadium. Have sanitation hubs. Sit them three seats apart. All must be masked. And no alcohol allowed.

Last edited 8 months ago by Y Cymro
Linda
Linda
8 months ago

Since when has Jonathan gained a medical degree. This virus is not about rugby. What he is asking is for thousands of supporters to travel into even further problems to do with this dam virus. It seems that MONEY is the only issue here.

Quornby
Quornby
8 months ago

Jonathan…. Er um…. No.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
8 months ago

Rugby will make a comeback but if you die or somebody that’s been in contact with someone who whent too England too watch the rugby they won’t make a comeback wake up Jiffy

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