The re-imposition of restrictions on spectators at sporting events in Wales from Boxing Day in response to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is causing more financial pain for the four URC regional sides, even with the offer of government support

By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 22/12/21 2:55pm

The Arms Park will be spectator-free for the Boxing Day clash between Cardiff and Scarlets

Wales’ four regional rugby clubs have been left counting the cost after new restrictions imposed by the Welsh Government to combat the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 saw professional sport effectively forced behind closed doors.
A strict limit of 50 spectators was place on sport at all levels in the country on Wednesday with the new measure coming into effect on Boxing Day and no timeline yet set for when they might be lifted – although the costs such as stewarding and policing for professional clubs make it impractical to admit such a small crowd.It means the sold-out United Rugby Champions clash between Cardiff and Scarlets on December 26 will now be played without spectators at Cardiff Arms Park, while the match between Dragons and Ospreys had already been called off due to Covid. Welsh events go behind closed doors Sporting events in Wales will be played behind closed doors from Boxing Day in a bid to combat the spread of the Omicron variant. Cardiff’s trip to Newport to face the Dragons and Scarlets’ home match with Ospreys on New Years’ Day will both be affected by these restrictions too, although minister Vaughan Gething confirmed a £3m “Spectator Sports Fund” will be made available to clubs and venues across Welsh sport affected by these measures.Even so, this latest news has dealt another significant fin …