WRU criticised over 10,000 empty seats at Wales v France Six Nations game

As of Thursday afternoon, there were around 10,000 spare tickets for the Wales v France clash. Credit: PA

The Welsh Rugby Union has faced criticism over ticket prices and the decision to play on a Friday night amid around 10,000 unsold seats for the Wales v France game.As of Thursday (March 10), the Principality Stadium map on the WRU's website was showing tickets available across large swathes of the top tier.Those left on sale cost £100 and £105 and include a number in the alcohol-free zone in the north stand.

At it stands, the attendance is thought to be just over 60,000 for the clash against France.

Two years ago, the attendance for the same Six Nations fixture was 73,931, while in 2018 it was 74,169. Those were both Saturday games.

It's thought the number of French fans travelling over could be down on previous years, in part due to uncertainty before the tournament on Covid restrictions.

Fay Jones, the Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, took to Twitter to suggest the WRU could have done more to fill the empty seats.

She tweeted: “There’s so much the WRU could do to fill the stadium.

“Cut the £100 ticket price. Create a parent ticket so ordinary adults can bring their kids without it costing the earth.

“Give women's rugby teams half price tickets.”

Former Wales and Lions skipper Sam Warburton shared his thoughts on The Times’ Ruck podcast.

“I can’t ever remember it for France before and that’s when France weren’t the team they are now. It would still be a sell out at home,” he said.

“I remember games against maybe tier two opposition and during the anthem you would look around and the top of the third tier looks a bit scattered and there’s not people there.

“It is a bit like where are all the fans? It is a little bit of a downer.”

As it stands, attendance at the Wales v France game looks set to be just over 60,000. Credit: PA

Speaking on the same podcast, Sunday Times correspondent Stephen Jones shared his opinion: “Amazingly, for the first time I can ever remember, there are thousands and thousands of tickets left, which I find astonishing.”

Asked about the importance of having a big crowd on Friday night, Wales coach Wayne Pivac said: “It certainly does help.

“If, because of Covid times, a few French supporters haven’t come over, that probably won’t worry us too much.

“So long as we have got our regular number of Welsh supporters, we’ll be happy.

“There are a few seats left. It would be great to see those seats filled up."