Welsh rugby union reveals size of financial disaster after soul-searching and private discussions

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Steve Phillips has opened up on a soul-searching passing on the idea of ​​moving Wales’ Six Nations matches to England.

They have revealed that if Union had decided to move to Severn Bridge, Twickenham was the prime choice as a venue for Scotland’s game on 12 February.

But he has admitted that, on balance, he might not have gone down that path because of his ties to the Welsh government and played behind closed doors in Cardiff.

As it turns out, they will be able to stage the Scotland match in front of a 74,000 crowd at the Principality Stadium, with the government fan ban lifted. You can read more about when restrictions ease here.

So their attention has now shifted to trying to sell tickets that have so far been cut between 5,000 and 10,000 amidst all the uncertainty.

Reflecting on the past month, Phillips is giving the inside story of how realistic it was to move the Scottish game to England.

“It would be my job to not see those things,” he said.

“When the government announcements were made just before Christmas, we spoke to locations in London.

“We probably focused more towards Twickenham, the kind of rugby family looking after themselves.

“I had some high level conversations with RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney, with whom I am very tight.

“Based on They” [England] We were playing that weekend, if we had ever been there, that option would have been available to us.”

Asked if they would be able to arrange a crowd of more than 70,000 Welsh fans in England when such gatherings were banned in Wales, Phillips replied: “It’s something like With whom I wrestled for a while.

“It’s balancing it, isn’t it? That’s my job.

“It is balancing fiscal concerns and, if we did not have fiscal certainty, what would it mean for everyone.

“I’m glad I wasn’t put in that position, but if you’re asking me if I’ll ever be there, on balance, given our relationship with the Welsh government, probably not.

“Based on our recent conversations with the government, we were probably going to play in Cardiff, either way.

“If we would have ended up without the crowd, I would have been optimistic that the Welsh government would be there to help us.

“It was a very thin line at first, because if we had left it too late, we would never have been able to sell at Twickenham again.

“It was against the backdrop of trying to do the right thing in Wales as well.

“We have the respect that we need to align with the Welsh Government.

“Their primary driver here is to protect the nation and we want to do our part.”

Phillips has also revealed how much it would cost Welsh Rugby to stage Scotland’s game behind closed doors in Cardiff.

“It would have been somewhere on the order of £6.5m,” he said.

“It would have been a very difficult situation to find myself in.

“It’s massive. We invest everything that we put back into the game.

“The pleasant thing now is that we don’t need to turn to the Welsh government. We are left to our own devices and rugby can take care of itself.

“The game is on and it’s definitely a feeling of relief.

“It will be a massive, massive boost. We very much welcome this news.”

It will now be entirely up to the pump to sell the stadium for Scotland games.

“We’re probably left with between five and ten thousand in the WRU,” he said.

“I really don’t know how many are still with the clubs.

“We are very aware and need to be responsible for not leaving clubs stranded because in fairness with them they took the ticket in good faith if there was no uncertainty.

“They bought tickets against the backdrop of a very lively autumn where we had 275,000 people.

“It’s working with them and how we collectively deal with it.

“We’ve got a month to change that for Scotland.

“It is a matter of resource dodging on this.

“We’re a month away now. It’s going to be a scuffle.

“I would just say to the fans that with tickets available, there is a chance the restrictions are lifted and we look forward to seeing you.”

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