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WRU urges people to plan ahead

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Large crowds: Plan ahead to avoid missing kick off

Large crowds: Plan ahead to avoid missing kick off

WELSH rugby supporters with tickets to see RBS 6 Nations live at Principality Stadium are being urged to start planning their day so as not to miss out on the action when Wales face Scotland, France and Italy in this years competition.

With over 74,000 supporters descending on the stadium on matchday, supporters are reminded that planning and preparation is necessary to avoid missing kick-off. Principality Stadium is advising those with tickets to the match to arrive early to allow time for potential travel delays and enhanced security checks and to leave large bags at home, where possible, to avoid further hold-up.

The request follows a meeting with South Wales Police, the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit, the Sports Ground Safety Authority and Cardiff City Council about security in the capital in light of recent world events.

While South Wales Police stress there is no specific threat to Cardiff, Principality Stadium joined other city stadia as part of the Safety Advisory Group to ensure spectator safety is paramount across major events.

Principality Stadium General Manager Mark Williams welcomed the joint review of existing operational practices, which has brought about these recommendations. He said: “Robust security measures already exist across Cardiff sports venues however we must take on board the lessons learnt in light of recent events and in particular Stade de France in Paris. Many of the security measures we have in place are not in the public domain however there are some key areas where spectators can assist us in maintaining a safe and secure stadium.

“While searching spectators can be time consuming, it is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of all our visitors. Rucksacks and larger bags should be left at home if at all possible. Be prepared to encounter delays on entry at Principality Stadium if you have a bag with you. If you arrive at the stadium shortly before kick-off, be aware we give no assurance you will be in your seat in time for the start of the game.”

Principality Stadium works with the Safety Advisory Group and wider city stakeholders including the transport providers to ensure Cardiff has the correct planning and protocols in place to deliver major events.

With all three of Wales’ home matches, including France and Italy, sold out for the first time since head coach Warren Gatland’s debut Grand Slam-winning season of 2008 Mr Williams added:

“Even with the necessary systems in place across the city region, supporters leaving it too late to travel to the venue, particularly for a Friday night fixture, could experience delays and subsequent disappointment if they miss the match kick-off. My advice to fans is to start your planning now for RBS 6 Nations matches in Cardiff allowing extra time – not to miss out!”

South Wales Police Inspector Andy Smith said: “Following a meeting earlier this month, the Cardiff Safety Advisory Group has supported proposals by the city’s stadiums to enhance security checks.

“With immediate effect this will mean if spectators bring a bag it might be searched before they can enter the four main stadia– the Cardiff City Stadium, the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, the SSE SWALEC Stadium and the Principality Stadium.

“While there is no specific threat to South Wales, it is important that we all remain vigilant.

“In Cardiff, we have a long tradition of partnership working and we hope the public will support these extra measures which are designed to keep Cardiff safe.”

James Clemence, Chair of the Cardiff Safety Advisory Group said: “Working closely with each of the sporting venues in Cardiff the Safety Advisory Group fully endorses any additional measures that aim to enhance public safety, we also encourage the public to lend its full support.”

Further information and links to transport providers can be found on Principality Stadium’s official website: principalitystadium.wales

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Community

Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages

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Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.


Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.


More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said:  “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.


“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.


“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”

Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative

Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.

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Sport

Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Sport

Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April  4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.  

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance. 

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate. 

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