Gatland Praises Welsh Fans

Six Nations: Wales v Italy

Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland has paid tribute to the great support at the home of Welsh rugby ahead of tomorrow's RBS 6 Nations finale against Italy (kick-off 230pm).

A capacity crowd will cheer on the national squad under a closed roof at Principality Stadium as they seek a third home win on the bounce.

The match completes a trio of home sell-outs, after the WRU announced record pre-championship ticket sales for matches against the teams in blue.

This year's competition has also seen thousands more fans arriving early at the venue after the WRU advised of enhanced security measures at the turnstiles.

Throughout the championship, supporters have been urged to arrive no later than 30 minutes before kick-off and to leave large bags at home where possible to avoid delays.

"The support across the three sell-out matches has been absolutely fantastic and our fans have been with us every step of the way," said the Wales and British and Irish Lions leader.

"They've been the 16th man at Principality Stadium and in light of the venue's enhanced security measures have showed us the greatest of respect in planning ahead not to miss the teams running out on the pitch, the anthems and the start of the game.

"The roar generated by 74,000 people when the team ran out of the tunnel against Scotland and France was unmistakable. It's clear to us that Welsh fans don't want to miss a minute of the action and as a squad we're extremely grateful.

"Ask any of the boys and they'll tell you there's no better place to play rugby than a packed out Principality Stadium. The pre-match build up is so intense. Honestly, there's nothing like it! We've spoken as a squad about our gratitude for our supporters and will be going all out to show our appreciation with a third home victory against Italy."

Stadium Manager Mark Williams added: "Safety and security on a matchday is a priority as we aim to provide the best possible environment for the fans inside the stadium. I echo Warren's sentiments and express my sincere gratitude to all the fans for their advanced planning and cooperation throughout the Six Nations."

Fans will have already started their planning for tomorrow's match, after Cardiff Council released the relevant city-centre information online last week. Click here for all the latest travel and transport news.

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