The Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed that it will trial a no-alcohol zone at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium during the national team’s autumn matches against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa.

A designated seating area will be set up in the stadium’s North Stand, where fans will not be permitted to take alcoholic drinks. The WRU said the zone has been introduced after extensive research was carried out with supporters at recent matches.

A 30 per cent increase in disabled seating will also seek to make Principality Stadium more accessible for fans, the WRU said.

WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said: “The matches are as accessible as they have ever been, with supporters able to buy tickets now from their local clubs, where they can be sure the money spent directly benefits the club due to a unique cashback scheme we operate with our member clubs.

“We have listened to supporters and have over 215,000 concessionary tickets available to under-16s and we have also conducted extensive research with supporters over the course of our last seven home matches.

“We know that, for the vast majority, having a drink is an important part of the match-day experience. Equally we have also identified a customer group who would welcome an alcohol-free zone and we are pleased to confirm that this will be trialled at each of the four matches this November.

“We will provide further details of the trial shortly, including more information about purchasing tickets for these seats. We are very proud of our stadium experience, but don’t want to be complacent.”

The possibility of introducing such a zone was first raised by Phillips last year, with the WRU having conducted a survey to gather views on the in-venue experience at Principality Stadium.

Further responses were gathered during the recent Six Nations and the WRU has now moved to add an alcohol-free zone on a trial basis.

Phillips added: “Having looked at the data and listened to fans we’re confident that offering more choice is the way forward and we are grateful to our many partners for their help and support in making this new initiative possible.

“We’re also delighted to announce an increase in disabled seating which is further evidence of the importance we place on having a broad offer for fans.”

Image: David Roberts