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Sport

Wales to play Six Nations, Autumn Nations Cup games in Llanelli

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Charles poses with the Wales rugby team members during their training session ahead of Rugby World Cup semi-final match against South Africa at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo, Japan October 23, 2019, in this photo released by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Wales will play their final Six Nations match against Scotland at Parcy Scarlets in Llanelli on Oct. 31, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said on Wednesday.

The WRU also said Wales would also play Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup at the same west Wales venue, but were looking at playing the remaining matches in November and December in London if spectators were allowed to return to stadiums.

Wales are unable to play at their usual venue, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, after several parts of the stadium were converted into a temporary hospital amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have taken the call to play our first two home matches this autumn in Wales,” WRU CEO Steve Phillips said. “Given how vital Wales games are to the funding of our sport, it was only right that every option was explored.

“Obviously more important than that is the health of supporters, players and the nation as a whole and so, whilst making contingency plans, we have of course been conscious of following government advice closely every step of the way.

“We anticipate the two games will take place behind closed doors, however, if the ‘big picture’ changes, we would be open to exploring whether either game could serve as a test event for crowds.”

The decision came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament that, as part of new restrictions to tackle a second wave of COVID-19, the government was putting on hold plans to allow sporting events to take place with 25%-33% spectator capacities from Oct. 1.

Six Nations defending champions Wales are fifth in the standings - six points behind leaders England.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson

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