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Other SportsWales to begin Six Nations campaign under closed roof after Scotland U-turn

Wales to begin Six Nations campaign under closed roof after Scotland U-turn

Wales’ opening Six Nations game against Scotland will now be played with the Principality Stadium roof closed, following a U-turn from the visitors.

Scotland are eyeing their first victory in Cardiff since 2002 on Saturday, with their last win over Wales coming in Llanelli during 2020’s COVID-19-impacted Six Nations tournament.

Six Nations regulations state that both teams must agree to have the roof closed, and Gregor Townsend’s visitors had initially asked for the roof to be left open.

Wales boss Warren Gatland described that decision as “disappointing”, saying his team always want the roof closed to enhance the atmosphere at the 74,000-seater venue.

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However, with rain expected in the Welsh capital throughout Saturday, Scotland have now acquiesced to the roof being closed.

Scotland captain Finn Russell became accustomed to playing indoors during a five-year spell with Racing 92 in France, but he admits the change could provide an additional challenge for less experienced players.

“For me personally, it does not change too much,” he said. “I was at Racing for five years and they have an indoor stadium so I am pretty used to it.

“I think the weather conditions have changed over the week so that’s why it is now closed.

“We know we have to start this game as quickly as we can to take the crowd out of it.

“I have been here a few times but there are quite a few boys who won’t have been here with a full house and the roof closed, so it’s going to be a new experience for them.

“With the roof open it’s an amazing atmosphere, but with the roof closed it will be even louder, so that’s something we might bring up tonight.”

Wales team to face Scotland: Cameron Winnett, Josh Adams, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer, Sam Costelow, Gareth Davies; Corey Domachowski, Ryan Elias, Leon Brown, Adam Beard, Dafydd Jenkins (c), James Botham, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Kemsley Mathias, Keiron Assiratti, Teddy Williams, Alex Mann, Tomos Williams, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady.

Scotland team to face Wales: Kyle Rowe, Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Finn Russell (c), Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Scott Cummings, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Ritchie, Matt Fagerson.

Replacements: Ewan Ashman, Alec Hepburn, Elliot Millar-Mills, Sam Skinner, Jack Dempsey, George Horne, Ben Healy, Cameron Redpath.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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