Community clubs across Wales have been able to welcome fans back through the doors to watch Wales in their Autumn international fixtures, including their victory over Georgia yesterday.
Many clubs have spent a vast portion of the year closed, with the storms in the early part of the year causing havoc for some, while Coronavirus safety measures and lockdowns meaning that clubs were unable to welcome patrons. However, with restrictions here in Wales easing, establishments are keen for locals to come back and watch Wales in the remaining Autumn International fixtures with them.
New WRU Chairman Rob Butcher has spoken on behalf of community clubs across Wales. He said:
“While some clubs have decided to stay closed for now, others have worked very hard to ensure their clubhouses are ready to welcome supporters back at this time. Many clubs rely on income from their bars and hospitality revenue on international weekends, and staff and volunteers within those clubs have done everything they can to ensure they are ‘good to go’ in accordance with Welsh Government guidelines.
“It’s important income for the clubs, and I’m sure many supporters will also be thrilled to be able to come together again to watch Wales in their local rugby club, while adhering to the protocols clubs have put in place.
“The regulations mean supporting Wales in a more measured way than perhaps we are used to – such as keeping noise levels down and remaining seated. If that is what is required to ensure the safety of our communities and so that clubs can remain open throughout this period, then that is what we need to do as a sport."
Barry RFC, here in the Vale of Glamorgan, was one of the clubs able to open up and allow supporters in to watch Wales play Ireland on the 13th November. Barry RFC Chairman, Mike Prosser, said:
“It was an absolute breath of fresh air to open our club house last Friday and to sit in each other’s company, have a quiet pint or two and watch the Wales v Ireland game. Thankfully the result did not detract from the enjoyment had by all.
“I would like to thank the management committee members and bar staff at the club who have worked so hard to put all the protection measures in place inside the clubhouse and for the continued support of our members. It is not financially viable to open the clubhouse on a regular basis but will be opening every Saturday for a socially distanced get together.”
Welsh Government guidance in relation to hospitality venues broadcasting Wales’ autumn internationals include: