‘Keep the roof closed’ – Howley

Date published: January 22 2017

Wales coach Rob Howley believes Wales should keep the Principality Stadium roof closed for all their home games to conduce better playing conditions.

The Wales boss says that because of the new bonus point system in the Six Nations the best playing conditions should be afforded to the Welsh players and closing the roof of the stadium would not allow the Welsh weather to interfere with free-flowing rugby.

The decision, however, comes down to both coaches and team managements but Howley is hoping the ‘higher echelons’ will pressure both sides to close the roof.

“I have asked the question, and believe it should be a closed stadium,” Howley told reporters.

“You could have a scenario down the line when you played three home games that the away team need to win and we need to win with a bonus point. What are the best conditions?

“The higher echelons are, I hope, making a decision as we speak. Questions are being asked over the next week, and I put it in the autumn when bonus points were coming in.

“We generally play in the autumn with the roof closed, and I made a mistake against Australia and kept it open because it was a fine day. I underestimated the occasion, and we did not have the best conditions for the team. We all make mistakes.

“The roof has to be closed for the best conditions and the game to be played to the benefit of both teams. It has to be the best conditions for the game of rugby.

“Tries in the Six Nations are generally scored in March because weather dictates the games in early February.

“Rugby should be played in the best conditions, and if we are able to create that in the Principality Stadium, I would like to think those decisions will be made sooner or later. I hope bonus points provide a nudge.

“The roof being closed would give us the best conditions for the best rugby.”