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WRU chief details plans for alcohol-free zones

The Welsh Rugby Union has announced details of the alcohol-free zones that will be trialled during this month’s matches at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

The WRU confirmed back in April that the trial will take place during Wales’ autumn matches against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa.

Wales face Scotland at Principality Stadium this Saturday, before hosting Australia on November 10, Tonga on November 17 and South Africa on November 24.

Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, WRU chief executive Martyn Philips revealed more details of the alcohol-free zones, which it is hoped will enhance the fan experience. Some 4,200 seats are set to be designated as alcohol-free on Saturday.

“It’s about doing the right thing for supporters,” Phillips said. “Would we extend it (the area)? I’ve got an open mind to it really… if there’s a demand there. If you look after supporters and give them what they want, then hopefully they’ll come back.”

According to the BBC, the WRU is anticipating a crowd of 62,000 for Saturday’s match, of which more than 2,500 are expected to sit in the alcohol-free zone at the top of the north stand.

Fans are normally permitted to drink alcohol while watching the game, with Principality Stadium housing more than 30 bars. The WRU is not anticipating designating alcohol-free zones during next year’s Six Nations, with Phillips stating those games will come too soon for any conclusions to be drawn from this month’s trial.

Phillips said: “We won’t extend it to the Six Nations this time because, by the time the autumns are over, we need to digest all that, take the learnings and those games will come on to us too quickly.

“It will be a meaningful four-game trial so 10,000 or 12,000 supporters will have had an experience there, so that will give us a lot of input. At the end we’ll get an assessment. Is there a market and are we able to cater to that market?”

Image: David Roberts