Wales suffer blow moving Six Nations games as Twickenham switch ‘would cost £2m’

Less than a month remains until Wales kick off their 2022 Six Nations campaign against Ireland at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, but they're no closer to finding out where their home games will take place.

The titleholders at least appear to have narrowed their search by ruling out one venue, however, after learning it would cost a little more than £2million to switch those home matches to Twickenham.

Wayne Pivac's side are poised to host Scotland (Feb 12), France (March 11) and Italy (March 19) over the next two months, but the Welsh government has banned crowds at sporting events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Omicron variant continues to spread in the United Kingdom, which recently became just the seventh country to pass 150,000 Covid-related deaths, following the United States, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Peru.

The same rules don't apply in England, however, where full-capacity attendances are still permitted provided fans can either prove their vaccine status or provide a negative test from the previous 48 hours.

A host of alternative English venues are being explored as the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) seeks to limit its losses.

It's been estimated playing all three of their home fixtures behind closed doors could result in the union missing out on around £20 million, having last year announced net debt had risen to £114.4m.

The Rugby Paper reported it would cost £750,000 per match to hire out 82,000-seat Twickenham for upcoming matches, a fee described as "prohibitive" by one sports event management expert.

Moving the games to Headquarters would make logistical sense in that Wales and England are not due to play any of their home Six Nations matchups on the same day.

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The only potential issue in that regard concerns the Round 4 slate, with Pivac's men due to host France less than 24 hours before the Red Rose welcome Ireland to London.

Still, the cost of hiring out Twickenham would be outweighed by any potential losses the WRU faces in the event they're forced to play without fans.

Wales and Gloucester winger Louis Rees-Zammit recently voiced his approval for fixtures to be moved to England, declaring fan attendance a chief priority in the equation:

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is also understood to be in contention as an alternative venue, though those plans are also complicated by a clash of fixtures.

Spurs are due to host West Ham on March 19—the same day Wales are currently set to face Italy at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Round 2 clash against Scotland on February 12 falls fewer than 24 hours before Antonio Conte & Co. are scheduled to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of a home crowd.

The search for a temporary Six Nations home continues for the four-time Grand Slam champions, who face the prospect of catastrophic losses unless Wales' government reverses current crowd restrictions.

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