IT has not been a happy autumn for Wales after their exciting 2019, which included a Six Nations Grand Slam and a World Cup semi-final.
Welsh rugby is at the heart of the country’s culture in so many ways – and that is most certainly true of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wales beat Georgia last weekend at Parc y Scarlets to end their losing streakCredit: Getty Images – Getty
A temporary hospital has been setup inside the Principality Stadium in CardiffCredit: Reuters
The Welsh usually play matches at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, but you may have noticed they’re in different surroundings this time around.
Why is Wales vs England not being played at the Principality Stadium?
No games this year can be played at Principality Stadium as the venue is being used as an emergency field hospital during the pandemic.
NHS Wales have named the temporary ICU ward the Dragon’s Heart Hospital, where 300 beds are available and is being run by Cardiff and the Vale Health Board.
Why is Wales vs England being played in Llanelli?
Instead of playing at their usual home in Cardiff, Wales will host the Scots at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.
The town is around 50 miles west of the capital and the stadium plays hosts to local Rugby Union club Scarlets.
This match is part of the Autumn Nations Cup series – a mini competition that has replaced the autumn internationals.
England have had a strong autumn so far, beating Italy 34-5 in the final Six Nations fixture, a win which clinched the title.
The Red Rose then blitzed Georgia 40-0 and then Ireland 18-7 in a fantastic performance.
By contrast Wales have lost to Scotland in the final Six Nations game, got beaten by Ireland 32-9 in Dublin, but rolled their socks up and scored an 18-0 win over Georgia last weekend.
Parc y Scarlets was opened in 2008 and holds 14,800 when fans are allowed in
Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli will host the clashCredit: Sportsfile – Subscription
Scarlets chief operating officer Phil Morgan said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to host these fixtures at Parc y Scarlets.
“We are hugely proud of the facilities we have here at the Parc and the events we have been able to host over the years. We are looking forward to welcoming Wayne and the team.”
What is Wales and England’s history in Llanelli?
Wales welcome England to Llanelli for the first time in 133 years – after the last game in the town was played on a cricket pitch.
And it is also the first Test match the two rivals have played outside of Cardiff since 1951.
Parc y Scarlets, with a capacity of less than 15,000, hosts its first major Anglo-Welsh match behind-closed-doors.
The only other time that the Carmarthenshire town has staged a match between these two was back in 1887, when the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Up until then, England had beaten Wales in all of their six encounters.
However, the game had to be moved from Stadey Park after a cold snap saw the pitch frozen over.
So, on January 8, 1887, in front of 8,000 fans on the cricket pitch adjacent to the old ground, the Home Nations Championship game ended scoreless.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.