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IRFU in contact with government on crowd restrictions ahead of Six Nations


The Irish union is currently “planning our normal planning” for a sold-out Aviva Stadium.

On Saturday, February 5, Andy Farrell’s men face Wales at home.

On 27 February, Italy visits Dublin, and Scotland on 19 March.

The current Covid-19 limits in Ireland limit athletic events to a maximum of 5,000 fans, but that limit will be abolished on January 30. No one knows if the Irish government will stick to that first timeframe.

The IRFU and the other Six Nations unions want crowd limitations relaxed before the championship.

Currently, France has a 5,000-fan restriction, and Welsh rugby is played in private. Recent limits limit Scotland’s home crowds to 500.

Italy presently has a Covid pass system for outdoor athletic events, while England has no such restrictions.

The42 understands the Six Nations is meeting with all six unions this week to better understand each country’s condition.

At this point, there appears to be no discussion regarding possibly postponing games.

France, where the government has set stringent limitations on UK travel and requires that all visiting sports teams be double-vaccinated, is being closely monitored by the Six Nations.

The second round of the Six Nations will be held in Paris on February 12.

The men’s senior national team generates 80% of Irish rugby’s revenue, highlighting the importance of huge crowds at home games.

The IRFU had full attendances for Ireland’s November Tests against Japan, New Zealand, and Argentina.

The union reported a €35.7 million deficit in 2020 and a €10 million deficit in 2021.

In light of this, the IRFU is hoping to lift the 5,000 cap for the Wales encounter in early February.

“The IRFU observe the recent COVID stadium capacity restrictions,” the union told The42.

”We will keep in touch with the authorities and offer updates as additional information becomes available.

To avoid affecting ticket distribution for the Guinness Six Nations, we are continuing with our normal strategy.

We intend to accommodate general ticketholders at rescheduled games, or refunds will be processed back to the point of original purchase, for example, via the club or province where the ticket was purchased.

“We will contact all other ticket holders asap.

We thank all our supporters for their patience over the last two years and in the future as we all adapt to an ever-changing environment.

While the All Blacks game was not a sellout, the Japan and Argentina games were.

The IRFU anticipated the autumn series would help them recoup from the pandemic’s financial toll, but the Irish government’s recent limitations have hampered rugby and all sports in the country.