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Parc Eirias home venue for Wales under 20s

16.11.2011

Wales u 20s head north
Wales u 20s head north

Parc Eirias will be the home venue for the Wales Under 20s side for the duration of the 2012 Six Nations Championship.

The north Wales ground, which is set to see even more rugby in the 2012/13 season when its RGC 1404 side joins WRU National Leagues Division One East, will host all three Wales U20s home matches during the tournament.

The Colwyn Bay venue is already the home of RGC 1404, a side awarded club status by the Union when north Wales was nominated as a development region, as well as the WRU National Academy in the area and it is playing an integral part in the WRU's initiative to drive forward and develop representative rugby in north Wales.

Wales U20s home fixtures have travelled around various grounds in previous seasons, but the decision has been taken to give them a permanent base in north Wales in 2012 in a move expected to have a hugely positive impact on the profile of rugby in the region.

Each of the fixtures will also be televised live, with the matches shared between BBC Wales and S4C, and will take place on the preceding Friday nights to Wales' senior international fixtures at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (the championship opener in Ireland will also be televised.)

That means Parc Eirias will see U20s international rugby on Friday 10th February, when Wales take on Scotland, on Friday 9th March, when Wales take on Italy, and on Friday 16th March for the final match of the tournament, and potential U20s championship decider, against France.

"This venture is part of a wider initiative to grow the game in north Wales and help capture the imagination of the rugby watching public in the region," said WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis.

"There is an established tradition of playing senior international matches and Wales A team matches in north Wales, often in the past at the Racecourse ground in Wrexham.

"But in Parc Eirias we are developing a top class rugby venue, a heartland for rugby in the region where the game can grow and where the future of the regional side will be bright.

"There are more than a million proud Welsh men and women in north Wales and we want to develop and create the tradition and culture for rugby at Parc Eirias and begin to maximise the potential of rugby in the region, a notion which is extremely important to the future and the growth of our national game.

"North Wales has already played an important part in the history of our game and we currently have high profile representation in our elite game in terms of players and coaching staff, with the likes of George North and Robin McBryde the obvious stand out contributors.

"But for too long north Wales has been an under-used resource for Welsh rugby and we hope that fans and players in the area will be inspired by the news that the U20s championship will be played out within such close proximity to them.

WRU Group Head of Rugby Joe Lydon said: "Our collective ambition is always to attract new fans, volunteers, players and coaches to the game in addition to the existing rugby fraternity in north Wales. The fantastic facilities at the new Parc Eirias will undoubtedly help us to achieve these goals within north Wales.

"The fact that all three of this year's U20's Six Nations international fixtures are to be shown live on television by BBC Wales or S4C will also help to raise the profile of the game in north Wales and help to firmly establish Parc Eirias' as an important venue, not just in Wales, but in the world game.

"The players and the coaches involved in the Wales U20s side for 2012 have a responsibility to our national game which goes beyond their immediate goals of success in the Six Nations championship, they have a chance to begin a new chapter in Welsh rugby history at Parc Eirias and they will be relishing the challenge."

Geraint Rowlands, S4C Director of Commissioning, said, "S4C is delighted to be able to follow up its highly successful Rugby World Cup programmes with live coverage of Wales U20s games against Scotland and France at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay. This deal will add to the Channel's extensive service to Welsh rugby fans and add to its high level of activities in north Wales including the forthcoming Calon Cenedl (Heart of the Nation) campaign in the Wrexham area."

BBC Cymru Wales Head of Sport Geoff Williams said:? "We're looking forward to continuing our broadcast coverage of Wales's Under 20 games this season - it's a chance for our viewers to watch the progress of the most promising young players in the game. And it's great, too, that the Scrum V team will be covering the games in Colwyn Bay - another example of BBC Cymru Wales' continued commitment to covering sport in north Wales."

 

              

 

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