The stadium in Cardiff will be open to the elements as Wales chase a Grand Slam
Principality Stadium roof will be open for Wales v Ireland
In a small victory before the main event, Ireland have been successful in their bid to have the roof of the Principality Stadium open to the elements on Saturday. Heavy rain is forecast for the afternoon, as Wales chase their first Grand Slam in the Six Nations since 2012.
The decision comes after Ireland coach Joe Schmidt had publicly suggested Wales had broken protocol by asking Six Nations bosses to allow the roof to be closed for the match that could decide who wins the Championship.
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Under Six Nations rules, both teams must agree to the roof being closed.
Yesterday, Schmidt said: “There’s been a request from Wales that in the interest of the quality of the game and the very poor weather forecast that the roof be closed. So they’ve said to the Six Nations directly, ‘can it be closed?'”
On the eve of the contest though, Six Nations officials upheld a demand from Ireland, filed yesterday, for the roof to be open.
There was more from Schmidt yesterday, as he also discussed other tactics used within the stadium when the roof is closed.
“I think the last time it was closed, we arrived there and there was a lot said about making it good for spectators and the sprinklers were on for 30 minutes and the ground was very damp before the game started,” he said.
“That probably enters into our mind – which ‘closed’ is it going to be? Closed and wet or closed and dry? If it is closed and wet, you might as well have the window open and let the rain come in.”
According to weather forecasts, there is 100% chance of rain in Cardiff, and things could be a little worse than previous days.
As Storm Gareth takes its toll, Wales is expected to see plenty of the rain with up to 100mm in some places, according to the Met Office.
Strong winds are also expected to hit.