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Early warning for Wales fans

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‘GATES open at 11.30am… get in early!’ – that’s the message coming from Principality Stadium ahead of Wales’ Under Armour Series second round clash with Georgia tomorrow, Saturday (November 18).

The first game of the series, against Australia last weekend, was also the first rugby match played at Wales’ national ground under newly enhanced security measures, brought in in April 2017.

The stadium has been operating a strict search policy for all visitors since that time and it has successfully hosted a string of major events – from the UEFA Champions League Final, World Heavyweight Title boxing (Joshua v Takam), back-to-back Coldplay concerts, Justin Bieber, Robbie Williams and the British Speedway Grand Prix – with hundreds of thousands of fans passing through turnstiles.

But, with rugby the staple diet at Principality Stadium, the first UA Series match brought new challenges as fans arrived at the ground en masse within 45 minutes of kick-off as they have been used to doing for rugby matches in the past.

“To allow for the increased security checks, we have doubled the amount of time that the stadium is open prior to kick-off from 90 minutes to three hours and broadcast this message as widely as possible,” said Principality Stadium manager Mark Williams.

“Despite these efforts, only 10% of ticket holders arrived at the stadium in the first hour-and-a-half of opening last weekend.

“As such, regrettably, the surge in arrivals later than we had advised slowed entry to the stadium, meaning some attendees missed the kick-off.”

Williams, who has run Principality Stadium – which is owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union – since September 2013 is determined to ensure supporters this weekend learn quickly from the experience.

Once again there will be additional entertainment around the concourses from the time of gates opening (11.30am) and early bird deals on food and beverages, for those supporters who get in early.

“One of the key things for fans to understand is that if you arrive early, the likelihood is that you will get in quicker and, conversely, the later you leave it the longer you may be in a queue and the greater the risk of you missing kick-off,” said the former lieutenant colonel in The Royal Welsh.

“Enhanced security has been in place at all events at Principality Stadium since April 2017. The sole intent is enhanced safety and security for fans attending the stadium, taking into account the current security climate and more specifically UK terror threat levels.”

Personal searches form only part of the comprehensive measures in place at the stadium, together with safety officers and South Wales Police, all entry points are continually monitored throughout the day.

South Wales Police stress there is no specific threat to Cardiff.  Principality Stadium routinely works very closely with the Police and the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit to deliver appropriate security measures for all major events.

11.11.17 Wales v Australia – Under Armour 2017 Series –
Players of Wales are welcomed by fans as they arrive at The Stadium

Key messages ahead of Wales v Georgia this Saturday:

–              Gates open at 11.30am

–              Roads close from 11.00am

–              The earlier you arrive the quicker you will get in/the later you arrive the longer it will take and the greater the risk of you missing kick-off

–              Principality Stadium Gates are open three hours early, instead of 90 minutes early, because of the extra security measures.  Please plan your trip to the stadium accordingly

–              Check your tickets and Gate details, remember access to the stadium is 360 degrees, not all gates face the city centre and some take longer to walk to than others

Williams added: “We strongly urge fans to assist us in maintaining a safe and secure stadium by getting in early and leaving large bags and umbrellas at home to avoid unnecessary delays and disappointment.”

To assist with match-day planning, Cardiff Council and local travel providers have published the necessary information for supporters to arrange travel plans to and from the venue in advance.

News

Free disability sports event heads to Pembroke Leisure Centre

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PEMBROKE Leisure Centre will play host to a free disability sports and physical event later this month with lots of sports and activities to try.

The insport series, in partnership with Disability Sport Wales, Sport Pembrokeshire and Pembrokeshire Leisure is an inclusive sport and physical activity event.

It offers opportunities for disabled young people (ages 5 years+) and adults across Pembrokeshire and friends and family are welcome.

On offer to try are: boxing, boccia, swimming (on a separate first come first serve booking basis), football, wheelchair rugby, target shooting, adaptive bikes, cricket, golf, multisport, and more.

The event takes place Pembroke Leisure Centre, on Wednesday May 29th between 10am-2pm.  

Booking for the event and swim places is required.

For more information please contact: Jess West from Sport Pembrokeshire byemail [email protected] or by calling 07795305871.

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News

Two changes to Scarlets side for Zebre match-up

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HEAD coach Dwayne Peel has made two changes to his Scarlets starting XV for Friday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round 17 clash with Zebre Parma at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi (19:35 BBC Wales).

Alex Craig has recovered from a hamstring issue to take his place in the second row, while behind the scrum Ioan Lloyd replaces fellow Wales international Sam Costelow at fly-half.

Ioan Nicholas, Tomi Lewis and Ryan Conbeer continue in the back three; Johnny Williams again partners Eddie James, while Lloyd links up with the experienced Gareth Davies at half-back.

In the pack, the front row of Kemsley Mathias, skipper Ryan Elias and Harri O’Connor get the nod to start again. Craig partners Morgan Jones at lock, while Taine Plumtree, Dan Davis and No. 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu are selected in the back row.

On the bench, Wales U20s centre Macs Page – part of Llandovery’s Indigo Premiership title-winning side last weekend – is set to make his URC debut.

Scarlets scrum and contact skills coach Emyr Phillips said: “We are looking to build some momentum in these last two games to fire us into pre-season. We are encouraging the boys to play high-tempo rugby and get the ball moving because that’s when we are at our best. We know Zebre will bring emotion to the game and we need to match that.”

Scarlets team to play Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Friday, May 17 (19:35; BBC Wales)

15 Ioan Nicholas; 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Johnny Williams, 12 Eddie James, 11 Ryan Conbeer; 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Kemsley Mathias, 2 Ryan Elias (capt), 3 Harri O’Connor, 4 Alex Craig, 5 Morgan Jones, 6 Taine Plumtree, 7 Dan Davis, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu.

Reps: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Jarrod Taylor, 20 Ben Williams, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Macs Page

Players unavailable because of injury

Tom Rogers, Sam Lousi, Vaea Fifita, Steff Evans, Joe Roberts, Josh Macleod, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Jac Davies.

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Charity football match scores big for mental health awareness

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IN an inspiring display of community spirit and sportsmanship on Friday (May 10), the Ogi Bridge Meadow stadium hosted a charity football match that saw local mental health charity, Give The Boys A Lift (GTBAL), triumph over 2Wish, with a final score of 5-1. The event drew a large crowd, who gathered to support both organizations dedicated to mental health and well-being.

GTBAL, a renowned Pembrokeshire charity known for its efforts in mental health advocacy, put on a strong performance, leading to a decisive victory that was met with enthusiastic applause and cheers from the spectators. The match not only provided an evening of thrilling sports action but also raised significant awareness and funds for the causes represented by the two teams.

Maria Elena Smith, a spectator and supporter, praised the event, commenting, “Amazing effort from everyone involved. As always, the charities that support so many families and individuals have come out in force. Well done all and thank you for all the support.”

Adrian Smith, another attendee, highlighted the importance of the charities’ work, stating, “Don’t underestimate what both these charities do. It was a fantastic evening raising awareness.”

The event served as a reminder of the vital role these organizations play in the community, offering support and resources to those facing mental health challenges. Congratulations to all involved for a successful event that went beyond just a game, fostering community unity and support for pivotal causes.

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