Wales women Six Nations

Wales women Six Nations. Pic: Getty Images

Wooden Spoon Looms But Wales Will Be Backed By Record Crowd

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By Hannah Blackwell

Wales will break their attendance record for a stand-alone home Test match, when they face Italy in the Women’s Guinness Six Nations on Saturday at the Principality Stadium.

Ioan Cunningham’s side may be facing the prospect of a wooden spoon, but the surge in interest in the women’s game shows no signs of slowing.

The 8,500 record home gate, set last year against England next door at Cardiff Arms Park, has already been beaten with nearly 10,000 tickets now sold for the final round clash – and a strong ‘walk up’ crowd expected for the 12.15pm kick-off in Cardiff.

Since facing England in front of a sell-out Arms Park crowd in 2023, Wales have welcomed Scotland in their first round match this season in front of 5,965 and France, in round four, in front of 5,786, breaking the records for each fixture on home soil.

Captain Hannah Jones’ side are now set to draw their biggest visiting crowd for a stand-alone fixture on Saturday.

Wales face Italy in the final, climactic round of the competition, battling to avoid a bottom of the table finish, but also looking to qualify automatically for the prestigious WXV 2 competition in South Africa with a bonus point win.

“The fans have really stuck with us and that has been so important to us,” said Wales captain and centre Jones.

“This is when we need them most, when we need their support because these are tough times.

“Losing hurts us and we want to put that right and we are determined to do so against Italy this weekend, for ourselves, but also for your loyal and vocal fans.

“It is so uplifting to see the young girls in the crowd, to hear the voices during our matches and to see them waiting in the stands afterwards to support us, no matter what the result.

“We know the fans are right behind us every step of the way and it makes such a difference to us.”

In the 2018 Six Nations Wales faced Italy in a double-header event (so not a stand-alone fixture) alongside a senior men’s international, also against Italy, and the official attendance given that day was 11,062.

It was the second time the two teams had played at Principality Stadium and Hannah Jones (at full-back), Jasmine Joyce, Kerin Lake, Keira Bevan, Carys Phillips, Beth Lewis and Alisha Butchers, from the current squad, were in the starting XV on that day.

The record for any senior women’s home game is the non-Test against the Barbarians in 2019 – also a double-header – which was watched by 12,600 supporters, so it is possible that two further records could fall this Saturday.

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