Rugby razzmatazz at Principality Stadium


Wales Principality Stadium is planning with full capacity Image: Principality Stadium

The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales (UK) might be full to the brim (read with fans) for this year’s Autumn Nations Series (rugby union competition). The Wales national rugby union team coach Wayne Pivac’s boys who are all in high spirits fresh from their victory at the 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign, will lock horns with the present Rugby World Cup champions South Africa, fellow Southern Hemisphere heavyweights New Zealand and Australia and buoyant Fiji.

The ‘Welsh Rugby Union’ stated that the prolific ‘All Blacks’ (New Zealand men’s national rugby union team), making their first visit to Cardiff since 2017, will kick off the series on 30th October, 2021 and it will be acid test for Pivac’s squad as the Wales national rugby union team is looking for a first win in the fixture since 1953.

The Guinness Six Nations Championship is an annual international men’s rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. The current champions are Wales, who won the 2021 tournament.

The Wales national rugby union team represents Wales in men’s international rugby union. Its governing body, the Welsh Rugby Union, was established in 1881, the same year that Wales played their first international against England. The New Zealand rugby union coach Wayne Pivac took over as the coach of the Wales national team in 2019.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is the governing body of rugby union in the country of Wales (UK), recognized by the sport’s international governing body, World Rugby. The WRU is responsible for the running of rugby in Wales, overseeing 320 member-clubs, the Welsh national team, and National Leagues and Cups.

The 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium, known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the national stadium of Wales (UK). Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also held Wales’s national football team games.

The ‘Welsh Rugby Union’ further stated that there will be no respite for Wales as the ‘Springboks’ (South Africa national rugby union team) makes a welcome return to Cardiff just after the series gets kicked off on October 30th. South Africa may have narrowly won the last encounter between the two sides at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, but Wales will throw their hat into the ring well aware of the fact that they have been victorious on each of the preceding four occasions the two sides have clashed at Principality Stadium.

The verve and panache of the Fiji players have always bedazzled the Welsh fans in the past with their exciting brand of rugby and the Pacific Islanders will show their pitch prowess on November 14th. Finally, if Wales can pull off a victory against the ‘Wallabies’ (Australia national rugby union team) on the climactic weekend of the series, would ensure a hat-trick of consecutive wins for Wales for just the second time in history since the two teams first met in 1908.

Observed Wayne Pivac, Wales head coach, “There is no doubt this is a huge autumn series fixture list and we are already looking forward to it, especially with the prospect of having supporters back at Principality Stadium. It would be close to 21 months since we have had the chance to play in front of our fans at our home stadium, so it is hugely exciting to have the fixtures announced and I hope it excites the rugby public. It will be a big campaign against quality opposition, but we see it as another opportunity to test ourselves while we continue on our journey to France 2023.”

Added Pivac, “As a group we haven’t faced a Southern Hemisphere side yet with last year’s summer tour canceled and autumn series rejigged so we are looking forward to welcoming all four sides to Cardiff for what will be four huge test matches.”

The 2023 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the 10th edition of the Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men’s rugby union teams. It is scheduled to take place in France from September 8th to October 28th, 2023 in nine venues across the country.

Tickets are on sale to WRU Member Clubs, Debenture holders and Premium members from along with communication to WRU corporate hospitality clients, with the WRU keeping fingers crossed and planning to move forward to the target of 100 percent capacity in the summer.

The WRU boast robust refund strategy in place to enable ticket purchasers to buy with confidence, and will guarantee refunds to the original credit card at the point of purchase within 30 days should the circumstance around COVID-19 change and reduced capacity or no crowds are put in place.

Whilst the future remains hazy there is an air of confidence that Autumn Nations Series 2021 will see the return of fans to Principality Stadium by drove and having hosted two international fixtures already this year, the facility is operating under COVID-19 guidelines and is preparing for the safe return of fans.

Steve Phillips, WRU Group CEO, commented, “There’s a great appetite for rugby right now. Over two-thirds of the population tuned in to watch Wales play each of their Six Nations games in February. Tournaments like the Guinness Six Nations Championship and the Autumn Nations Series galvanize the nation, generate hope and pride and give the people of Wales something to look forward to in difficult times.”

Added Phillips, “It is our aim and ambition to deliver the Autumn Nations Series 2021 with full crowds. We are working alongside the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to ensure this is done correctly and safely and in order for us to move forward and deliver events of this scale we must plan ahead, be flexible and be prepared for change. Getting the Autumn Nations Series on sale early is an essential step in this process.”

Digital ticketing app

The Autumn Nations Series 2021 also marks the launch of the new Principality Stadium digital ticketing app. Not only will digital ticketing speed up the ingress process into the stadium on matchday – as each ticket has an individual QR code which is scanned at the gate – but digital ticketing also reduces the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus over a traditional paper ticket.

In addition, the data collected by the new system enables effective track and trace as part of the Government’s ongoing fight against the fatal respiratory disease.

The Principality Stadium ticketing app, which has been in development for the last year, has been created by Tixserve (white-label digital ticketing platform) who have successfully implemented ticketing apps for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) at the 82,000-capacity Twickenham Stadium in South-Western London and a number of other sporting and entertainment clients in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Tixserve system was successfully tested during the Guinness Six Nations as part of the Principality Stadium accreditation entry process and the positive response has led to the decision to use the system for all ticketing at the Autumn Nations Series 2021. The Principality Stadium ticketing app can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Patrick J Kirby, Managing Director, Tixserve, commented, “Tixserve is delighted to have been selected by the WRU as its digital ticketing partner following a competitive procurement process. In addition to powering digital tickets for major international matches at the world-famous Principality Stadium, Tixserve’s easy to use, secure and interactive solution will also be used for stadium hospitality. The Tixserve team is committed to responding to the evolving digital ticketing requirements of the WRU and its ticket-holders and looks forward to building a strong, long-term business relationship with the recently crowned Six Nations champions.”

Steve Phillips, WRU Group CEO, added, “The Autumn Nations Series has always been a family event and we’re delighted to introduce U17 concessions ticket across the board for all Autumn Nations Series matches, which now means a concession ticket can be purchased alongside an adult ticket within any ticket category in the stadium.”

‘Welcome Home’ is the campaign message for the Autumn Nations Series 2021 as the WRU and Principality Stadium prepares to welcome players and rugby fans back to their home of Welsh rugby.

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