Six Nations games could take place behind closed doors again this year

Six Nations games could take place behind closed doors again this year

COVID-19 COULD force the Six Nations to be played behind closed doors for the second consecutive year if the virus cannot be contained. 

The tournament starts on February 5. Many countries like France, Scotland, Wales, and the likes of Ireland have implemented restrictions, while England is the only country with relaxed rules when it comes to the virus.

Fans of the event can show proof of a negative test within 48 hours of the event starting or show their vaccination status to gain entry into English Stadiums.

Wales for example have banned all crowds at sporting events, while Scotland have allowed 500 people to attend their outdoor events.

France and Ireland have allowed up to 5,000 people to attend games. Italy tightened restrictions on the unvaccinated in December, with their 'Covid pass' system set to remain until at least mid-January.

Organizers and union representatives are looking for a solution to the matter. It was reported by the Telegraph that postponing matches won't be on the cards as having no fans is an easier option.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup leaves little opportunity for a reschedule, with rugby's top chiefs aiming to finish the 2022 Six Nations on time.

Ireland had fans back for the first time in November for the All Blacks, Japan and Argentina tests. It was the first time since the pandemic begann that Irish supporters were allowed inside the Aviva stadium.  Eddie Jones and England also completed a perfect November series in front of packed Twickenham

England's stance could see game moved, but the Telegraph described that option as "logistically fiendish," not least because it would require a short-notice shuffle for fans getting to a new location and without certainty over how revenue would be split.

Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (C) is tackled during the Six Nations international rugby (Photo by Paul FAITH / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

The loss of fans would be a major blow to any financial rewards the Six Nations would bring.

A net debt of £114.4million for the year leading up to June 30, 2021, representing an increase of around 50 per cent was reported by the The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU)

The 2021 Six Nations was played behind closed doors, but players like fly-half Dan Biggar, from Wales said that he would like to see full crowds at the Six Nations.

“It would be great if we could have fans, wouldn’t it?” he said following Northampton Saints ' recent 41-27 defeat to Harlequins.

“You see what a difference it makes to an occasion. 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.

"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 show-piece event.”

France President Emmanuel Macron recently confirmed all athletes entering the country from January 15 must be double-jabbed in order to do so, forcing the hands of certain stars who may oppose the vaccine.