Wales’ RBS 6 Nations fixture against France at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 17 March (kick off 2.45pm) has sold-out.
Head coach Warren Gatland’s men will bring their 2012 campaign to a climax against Les Blues in front of a 74,500 capacity crowd, with fans obviously hoping they have snapped up a Christmas bargain as they ensure the game sells-out more than 3 months before kick-off.
Considering over 100,000 tickets have also been sold across the other two home international matches next year – against Italy and Scotland – supporters in Wales are showing their appetite for international rugby is a strong as ever.
The French game will obviously bring back memories of Wales’ 2011 RWC semi-final appearance in New Zealand – a match which itself saw a staggering 62,000 Welshmen and women fill the Millennium Stadium to its rafters, turning up in the early morning to watch live on the big screens.
The fixture against Wales’ World Cup semi-final rivals was taken off public sale by the Welsh Rugby Union this week, due to high demand for Wales’ 6 Nations home games following Shane Williams’ thrilling send-off game against Australia on Saturday – with only limited access remaining through official hospitality.
Wales are up next at the home of Welsh sport when they entertain Scotland in front of their loyal Welsh fans, seven days after kicking off their 2012 RBS 6 Nations campaign away from home at the Aviva Stadium against Ireland on Sunday 5 February – a match which is itself a re-match of the RWC quarter-final won by Wales.
And Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is confident the RWC-form shown by captain Sam Warburton and his fellow players can be replicated in the 6 Nations.
“The news that we have sold-out so far in advance of the game epitomises the passion that Welsh rugby fans have for this team at the moment,” said Edwards. “There is a groundswell of optimism about the future out there in Wales and,as a team,we are determined to realise the potential which has been so obviously on show in recent matches.
“With three home games in this year’s championship the fans will have a huge part to play in our progress and whilst, as a squad, we can’t look any further than that opening visit to Ireland our aim is ensure we continue to make the nation proud of our performances throughout the tournament.”
The Red Dragons are back on the road to face England on Saturday 25 February, before Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium welcomes Italy on Saturday 10 March followed by the thrilling Championship finale sell-out clash with France.
Fans wanting to catch Wales against Les Bleus are advised to check out the last remaining hospitality packages via the Millennium Stadium website, whilst, tickets are selling fast, but still available for Wales’ home games against Scotland and Italy at wru.co.uk.
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: “Wales will take on France in front of a sell-out crowd for the final game of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations championship as the Welsh public demonstrate once more their tremendous support for the national squad.
“Wales last faced France in that unforgettable Rugby World Cup semi-final game in New Zealand, when images of over 62,000 fans watching the big screens at the Millennium Stadium were beamed all over the world, and we can expect a thrilling encounter with Wales looking to avenge that defeat and show their appreciation to all the fans in March.”
Match tickets for games against Scotland and Italy are also available from Ticketline on 02920 230130, ticketlineuk.com or at their shop on Westgate Street, Cardiff.
Wales fixtures for 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship:
Sun 5th Feb 15:00 Ireland v Wales Aviva, Stadium
Sun 12th Feb 15:00 Wales v Scotland, Millennium Stadium
Sat 25th Feb 16:00 England v Wales, Twickenham
Sat 10th Mar 14:30 Wales v Italy, Millennium Stadium
Sat 17th Mar 14:45 Wales v France, Millennium Stadium