With the annual rugby Six Nations just days away, I thought it would be a good idea to delve into what exactly Cardiff is like on one of its epic game days.
Anyone from Cardiff will tell you just how major rugby is in Wales’ capital. People everywhere, chanting everywhere, beer everywhere. It is certainly an event which cannot be missed. As a huge rugby fan myself (avid England supporter all the way fyi), it is something I could not wait to experience once starting uni. I have been lucky enough to attend two matches so far and I am sure I will fit in a few more before I graduate. I definitely did not find it hard to find friends who loved the sport like me and it always makes for a fantastic day out when you get a group of you together!
In this year’s tournament the extra special match of Wales vs England (the ultimate rivals) will be taking place at the Principality Stadium on February 23rd and I can guarantee that the atmosphere will be buzzing. Another great game that will also be hosted in Cardiff is Wales vs Ireland on March 16th.
Typical of a match day includes a pre-game beer or two in the local pubs where fans from all over will get together in anticipation. With rugby, unlike football, you find that rival teams will mix with no issues. I have been to countless rugby matches (mainly due to being a season ticket holder for the Harlequins) and I have never witnessed problems with other supporters. I think that is one reason why I love the sport so much as everyone is just there to enjoy it and you will often find yourself bantering with the rival fans above anything else!
After this, the huge procession of red shirts (among others) will be seen making their way to the stadium gates where on route, you can purchase a giant daffodil hat or even get some Welsh dragons painted on your face from the little stalls dotted around. Then it is time for the main event. The crowds will be roaring, the national anthems sounding and then the action starts. Of course, the post-match mood very much depends on the final result of the game (basically whether Wales wins or loses). It will then be either time to head home in sorrow or time to head to the bars and carry on the celebrations (or for the team that came in second place, an attempt at distraction from the loss).
Either way, game days in Cardiff are unmissable and something that should definitely be experienced whether you are in the stadium itself, or are watching on the TV in a pub. You will still get to experience the atmosphere with both. Depending on what games are on, it is possible to get cheap tickets for the matches which are around £20. Bargain!
My advice if you are coming down on a match day would certainly be to get there early; one to avoid traffic, and two to soak in the atmosphere. If you are lucky enough to be attending this year’s Six Nations, have fun! I am not jealous at all…