The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is considering a number of alternative venues for Wales’ home autumn internationals. With the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, currently serving as a temporary hospital, the Union could be forced to move their home fixtures outside of the Welsh capital, with a number of stadiums in London currently being considered as alternatives.
WRU chairman, Gareth Davies, says the Union are not sure if the Principality Stadium will be available for autumn matches due to the stadium’s current status as a field hospital.
Davies explained that the WRU are in negotiations with the National Health Service (NHS) about how long the stadium will remain in use as a hospital, and what it could mean for Wales’ fixture list.
The contract for the Dragons Heart hospital, built in the Principality Stadium in an effort to ease pressure on Welsh hospitals, was extended last week.
The stadium is being rented to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and has been serving as an overflow for the University Hospital of Wales since April.
And should the stadium need to remain in use later into the year, Wales may be forced to move their home games to unfamiliar territory.
“We’re still is discussions with the NHS to extend the current contract,” Davies told BBC Radio Cymru.
“That contract actually expired last week. It’s tough for them because they’re hoping that we won’t see a second wave.”
Should the stadium remain unavailable for the autumn internationals, the WRU will have no option but to look at moving Wales’ home fixtures to an alternative venue.
“We’re still not sure where those games (autumn internationals) will be played,” said Davies.
“We’re also in talks with other stadiums in Wales, because if crowds will be allowed into grounds throughout Great Britain then Parc Y Scarlets, Rodney Parade, Cardiff City Stadium and the Liberty Stadium will become options.
“But because the Union have financial problems, we have to look at all options like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London Stadium, Wembley and Twickenham.”
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Davies also said that the WRU are looking to secure a £20m loan in order to ease the financial pressure created by the coronavirus pandemic, and are hoping to have a deal finalised by the end of the month.
“We are looking for a loan of around £20m,” Davies added.
“We are still in talks to secure a loan, hoping to finalise something before the end of the month as we have bills to pay.”
Phillips explained that the majority of the £20m loan would go towards the four Welsh regions, Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets.
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