Biggar hopes crowds are permitted for Six Nations

Reuters

While crowds at sporting events have yet to be capped in England, matches in Wales and Scotland are now limited when it comes to capacity, amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Wales's first minister Mark Drakeford has not put any timescale on when the restrictions will be lifted, with the Six Nations set to start on 6 February (AEDT).

Scotland will formally review its measures on 11 January, while France – where more than 18,000 people were in hospital with COVID-19 as of 30 December – has imposed restrictions on travellers from the United Kingdom, with its government insisting that all sportspeople must be fully vaccinated by mid-January in order to enter the country.

Italy, likewise, is experiencing unprecedented levels of new recorded cases of the virus as the Omicron variant spreads across Europe.

But Wales five-eighth Biggar believes banning spectators would be a frustrating move that will only damage the game.

"It would be a huge, huge step backwards if there are no crowds moving forwards for clubs and the Six Nations which is obviously such a showpiece event," he said.

"You saw it in the autumn, getting crowds back. Everyone coming to games now has to have a passport, they'll be double or triple-jabbed, and it's an outdoor event so I don't see why they wouldn't be allowed in.

"As long as it's safe, that's the most important thing.

"I hope for an event like the Six Nations and for the game up and down the UK moving forward we get some sort of sensible outcome.

"As long as everyone is safe and jabbed then I think it makes sense to keep crowds in. I think you would have seen a different [Northampton against Harlequins] game if the stadium had been completely empty.

"We played a lot of games with no crowds but if you look at the first handful of games they almost felt like training games.

"It felt like it did not really matter whether you won or lost because it felt like a training match and like the intensity was knocked out of it. You lose any advantage of playing at home and bits and pieces like that.

"I think it would be a huge step backwards if crowds were to go. I think the rest of the lads in Wales are pretty frustrated with it. That's normal frustration isn't it?

"We are probably getting into different things with politics now but I think everything should be aligned."

Wales, the defending Six Nations champion, starts its campaign against Ireland on 6 February (AEDT), with its first home game scheduled for 13 February(AEDT) against Scotland.


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