A Guide to Watching the Six Nations in Cardiff as an Ireland fan9 July 2022
The Six Nations is an incredible time to be a student within Cardiff. Even if you are not a huge fan of the rugby itself there is nothing quite like Cardiff on matchday. The only problem with this is that I am not a Welsh fan, being three quarters English and a quarter Irish. While the Welsh fans are largely accommodating and friendly it can sometimes be quite alienating being an opposing fan watching any sporting event. Having experienced four Six Nations Championships in Cardiff, here is my guide to the Six Nations in Wales as an Ireland fan.
Like many Cardiff University students when the Six Nations rolls around every year, each weekend is spent in front of the rug
by. As an Ireland fan I sit in front of the TV with a pint of Guinness supporting the Irish. The benefit of being a rival fan watching the matches in Cardiff is the atmosphere of watching the games. Whether it is with some friends in the house, at the Taf or at the actual match itself, there is always a healthy rivalry between the Welsh and whoever they happen to be playing. Even games that Ireland are not playing for example England vs Wales, (which as a neutral fan makes the atmosphere even more enjoyable) are still exciting to watch within the company of the Welsh fans.
When the rugby comes to Cardiff itself though is when the atmosphere officially reaches a new level. Even if you are not that interested in the rugby and do not care for the game itself, there is nothing more exciting than walking in to the city centre towards the stadium just after full time. With over a quarter of a million people entering the city during matchdays, the city is given a new lease of life. Even as a rival fan the energy and passion that fills the streets of Cardiff fills you with excitement.
The games are always intense and even though tensions can be heightened during the matches, the Welsh fans are nearly always accommodating and after the full-time whistle goes are usually up for grabbing a pint and reminiscing over the game. Even if you are worried of being one of the only opposing fans within the Taf or any other venue to watch the game, most of the pubs in Cathays that have a large student population are usually very mixed between the two teams playing.
I have made friends for life from watching Ireland play in the Six Nations every year and have also made great friendships with rival fans that I watch the championship with. If you have any interest in the sport of rugby at all then it is essential that you are in Cardiff during the Six Nations Championships, whether that is watching it from the comfort of your living room, the local pub or even at the match itself.