Six Nations planning for matches to be played ‘behind-closed-doors’
The Six Nations is planning for matches to be played behind closed doors, with no option for postponements, it has been reported.
According to The Telegraph, the international rugby tournament is making the contingency plans for some games, amid a surge in cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
All the nations fielding teams in the tournament except England currently have crowd restrictions in place.
The Six Nation’s organisers are holding a series of calls with rugby unions and national governments today in a bid to try to determine what the likelihood is of restrictions easing before February 5 when the tournament kicks off.
All spectators are banned from attending sporting matches in Wales under current Welsh Government regulations. In Scotland, a maximum of 500 people are allowed at outdoor sports events.
Crowds are capped at 5,000 Ireland and France. There are no restrictions on attendances at sporting matches in England barring proof of vaccination status or a negative lateral-flow test.
It is understood that that it is very unlikely that any fixtures would be delayed to allow full houses to return.
This is because there is so little space in the rugby calendar. Therefore, the contingency plan is likely to follow the template which was laid out for the Autumn Nations Series. This involved staging the matches behind closed doors. The possibility of moving matches to England has not been discounted by organisers.
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has said it would be “a huge, huge step backwards” for rugby if the Six Nations had to be played behind closed doors.
“I hope for an event like the Six Nations and for the game up and down the UK moving forward we get some sort of sensible outcome,” he added.
“As long as everyone is safe and double-jabbed then I think it makes sense to keep crowds in. We played a lot of games afterwards with no crowds but if you look at the first handful of games they almost felt like training games.”
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