More Friday fixtures for Six Nations

Date published: January 28 2015

Six Nations chief executive John Feehan has confirmed that the controversial policy of staging matches on a Friday night is set to continue beyond this year.

This year’s Championship opener between Wales and England at the Millennium Stadium on February 6 is the third such fixture in the last five years and Feehan insists it will not be the last.

“There will be Friday night fixtures in the future,” Feehan said at the official launch of this year’s Championship in London.

“They are a big success,” he added.

“If a union has Friday night fixture it doesn’t tend to have a Sunday afternoon game and some unions prefer to have that as a scenario.

“Broadcasters also like the mix of offers and so we will keep an open mind.

“We are certainly happy with Friday nights, we think they work, so we will continue to use them.”

Friday night fixtures were first introduced in 2011 when England beat Wales in Cardiff but the decision was met with anger from fans denied the tradition of a Six Nations weekend and forced to travel on a week day.

Widespread travel chaos around that game fuelled the fans’ anger and saw the idea temporarily shelved but bumper TV viewing figures eventually convinced Six Nations chiefs to schedule two further Friday night matches – Wales’ victory over
France in last year’s Championship and England’s latest visit to Cardiff next week.

By Graham Jenkins