An exciting new dimension in the Welsh regional rugby calendar will see the four rugby regions come together for the first time at a thrilling double-header derby day at the Millennium Stadium.
The first line of a new chapter in Welsh rugby’s history books will be written when the Dragons face the Scarlets and the Blues face the Ospreys at the National Stadium as the best of Welsh rugby goes head to head in back to back matches.
The double-headed festival of rugby, promoted by the WRU, will be a part of each of the Welsh Regions’ RaboDirect PRO12 campaign, falling into place after the international season has finished and just as the league begins to reach its climax ahead of the knockout stages of European competition.
The Ospreys, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons will bring their thousands of supporters together for a bumper attendance at the Millennium Stadium - with supporters from every quarter of Welsh rugby able to descend on the Cardiff capital in regional colours at this unique event.
The day will be themed and marketed by the Welsh Rugby Union and the four rugby regions working in partnership along with RaboDirectPRO12 to create a carnival atmosphere and with further exciting details about the theme of the event to be revealed by the WRU, including a full spectrum of match day entertainment.
“This unique double-header will be a historic moment for Welsh rugby,”said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.
“It has taken us five years to put this fixture together, but I am confident it will have been worth the wait.
“The WRU will promote and underwrite this fixture for the next four years, that’s how much we believe in it. Fans will see the stars of Welsh rugby and get two derby matches for the price of one very reasonably priced ticket.
“I predict this double-header will become a highlight in the Welsh rugby calendar for a long, long time to come.”
Tickets for the event will be just £10 for U18’s and £25 for adults with a family package (2 adults, 2 children) on offer for just £50 – they are available from the Regions, from Ticketmaster and online at www.wru.co.uk
The event will be repeated every year at Millennium Stadium for the foreseeable future with the two East Wales regions taking on the two West Wales regions on rotation each season.
Speaking on behalf of the four regions, Stuart Gallacher, Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales said:
“The opportunity to see all our regional players in their home colours in action at the Millennium Stadium on one day shows the big strides being made by the four regions and WRU as we seek to build and excite our loyal and growing support bases across regional rugby.
“We have seen this type of double header format work well across rugby and other sports where it can capture the imagination of the public by showcasing the top level of sport across a full day of excitement and competition, at a venue that can add even more to the sense of occasion.
“We believe that the convenience and scale of the event taking place at our National stadium will enable rugby enthusiasts from all over Wales to come together and celebrate the very best of the professional game in Wales, on a day which offers real value for families to experience the thrills, pace and drama of the most competitive league in Europe.
“Season ticket sales and attendances are on the up at the regions and as we look for new ways to move forward the double header at the Millennium Stadium is a great example of the hard work that is going on behind the scenes. It shows the cohesion and mind-set of the four rugby regions and WRU in working together on new initiatives to make professional rugby in Wales even stronger and build greater excitement across generations of supporters and from every corner of our country.
“We hope 30th March will bring a new, modern Welsh derby day tradition which showcases the commitment and success of the four regions in producing and supporting so many talented players in Welsh rugby.”