WRU in talks to move Wales' Autumn Tests if Principality Stadium remains unavailable
Wales' regular home venue, the Principality Stadium, is currently being used by the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic
Last Updated: 11/06/20 6:12pm
Talks are underway which could see Wales play their Autumn Tests at either the Cardiff City Stadium, the Liberty Stadium or Parc y Scarlets.
Wales' regular home venue, the Principality Stadium, is currently being used as a field hospital by the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic and could be unavailable for scheduled matches against New Zealand, Fiji, Argentina and South Africa in November.
Welsh Rugby Union chairman, Gareth Davies confirmed at a meeting of the Welsh Government's Culture, Welsh Language and Communications committee that talks to find an alternative venue, if required, have begun.
"At the moment the stadium as a hospital is on standby and will be until the NHS decides otherwise", said Davies. "We want the Autumn Tests to go ahead, and we've started discussions with the obvious venues - the Cardiff City Stadium, the Liberty Stadium and Parc y Scarlets.
"The ideal scenario is that we progress with playing New Zealand, Fiji, Argentina and South Africa. It's very encouraging to see what's happening in New Zealand that they're playing in front of full crowds this weekend. On the prospect of the four southern hemisphere countries heading north, we're going to be guided by Governments in terms of travel.
"If that becomes impossible we would look at possibly a 'second Six Nations' tournament before Christmas. And that would take the place of the Autumn Tests. It wouldn't be ideal, but needs must."
Davies also revealed that the sporting shutdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on the finances of the WRU.
"The word to describe it all is catastrophic. The first impact for us was the postponement of the Wales vs Scotland game. We took a £10m hit on that and bearing mind our annual turnover is about £90m you can see the impact of one match. It's going to be a tough one to recover from, obviously."