The WRU is urging all Welsh rugby fans to “Wear your colours and back Sam’s boys” before they open the doors of the Millennium Stadium this weekend to broadcast the World Cup semi-final.
Welsh World Cup wonder Sam Warburton may have been amazed at the “sea of red” supporting his side against Ireland in Wellington last weekend, but he could have tens of thousands more backing his boys back home on Saturday morning.
The gates will open at 8am on Saturday and tickets will be available from Tuesday either in person from Gate 3 at the Millennium Stadium or via Ticketmaster. Tickets will be capped at six per person and everyone needs to turn up on the day wearing red.
The game kicks-off at 9am and there will be plenty of time before the start to taste the big match atmosphere and pick up a bacon roll and hot drink. The bars will open from 9am.
Anyone who wears something red will be granted free admission to the Millennium Stadium for the semi-final showdown with France this weekend and the organisers are expecting a massive turn-out.
“Throughout the Pool stages and last weekend’s quarter-final we saw pubs and rugby clubs opening early to allow fans to gather together to support Wales. Now we want to give everyone the chance to join forces for this momentous match and show the players and management that the whole nation is truly behind them,” said WRU Head of Sales and Marketing Craig Maxwell.
“This is a once in a generation game and we want the players to know that their extraordinary performances in New Zealand have captured the imagination of everyone back home. There will be thousands of Welsh fans singing their hearts out at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, but we want as many people as possible to join in with them at the Millennium Stadium.
“It is an opportunity for whole families to show their support for the team and to help turn Saturday into a never-to-be-forgotten occasion for Welsh rugby and Wales. In years to come people will always remember where they were when Wales played France in the World Cup semi-finals – where better than the Millennium Stadium.”
It will be the third time the Millennium Stadium has opened its doors to allow fans to watch Wales play in a vital championship match, although it will be the first time for rugby.
In November, 2003, some 3,000 Welsh soccer fans made the pilgrimage to the Millennium Stadium to watch Mark Hughes’ side play Russia in a Euro qualifier and even more turned up to watch Wales play England in a World Cup qualifier on 9 October, 2004.
This weekend’s big game will not only see the Rugby World Cup semi-final broadcast on the stadium’s new, giant screens, but also displayed on a special screen brought in for the occasion.
“We want as many people to feel a part of the Welsh World Cup experience, but we always want to be able to tell the team before they meet the French that everyone is behind them,” added Maxwell.
“When Wales won the Grand Slam in 2005 there were tens of thousands locked out of the Millennium Stadium who saw the game on a big screen in front of the City Hall in Cardiff. Then we had more than 20,000 turn up at the stadium for the Grand Slam celebration party that included Prince Charles.
“How many fans can we get into the stadium this weekend? We’ve got more seats than Eden Park and more than enough to demonstrate just how proud Wales is of their team in New Zealand.”