Six Nations Friday night games

Next week will see the first ever Six Nations game played on a Friday evening in Paris, and it has divided opinions in the rugby community.

Stade de France on Friday night?

Gone are the days of the Saturday afternoon kick off at 3pm – fixture schedules are now dictated by the TV companies, and many have lambasted the decision to stage a Friday night game in Paris.

Reports suggest that Welsh travelling support to France is much lighter than usual, because it would mean taking a day off work, so the impact on French tourism is clearly detrimental. And those that do travel will miss out on traditional Saturday night revelry, given that by the time the game finishes, many of the bars will be thinking about closing.

On the other hand, whilst we regret that TV schedules can call the shots, they are doing so to provide us – the armchair viewer – with what their research determines that we want. After all, many Guinness Premiership games are played on a Friday night and nobody seems to complain.

So will you be boycotting the game as a matter of principle? Or will you be strapping yourself in for Friday night beers with the added bonus of a Six Nations game to enjoy?

Comments left here are likely to appear in The Rugby Paper on Sunday.

18 thoughts on “Six Nations Friday night games

  1. Many casual rugby observers watch the game on Saturdays as there’s very little else on. Some casual observers then become die hard rugby fans. With so much other things happening on Friday nights I think eventually the watching fugures will be less. I hope the powers that be will be willing to reverse their decision if over the long term things don’t pan out. Less travelling fans is also a major draw back, as it will dampen the atmosphere.

  2. i hadn’t really thought of the impact on spreading the game’s appeal, but to be fair, saturday’s at 3pm are usually fairly hectic with loads of sport on. Maybe friday night games will grab new viewers if it’s on in a bar, or if people are at home and there’s not much sport on tv.

    i’m actually quite looking forward to it, and prefer it to the Sunday games.

  3. Never been keen on this idea I have to say. Did whoever made this decision consider the fact that all of the games are played in and around capital cities – which tend to have quite a bit of traffic on weekday evenings! Even those living relatively locally would have to take a day off work.

    I do fear that it could take off though – I agree with John that there is already a lot of sport on Saturdays and it could become an excuse to nip out and watch it in a pub . I don’t agree about lots else being on TV on a Friday though, and the RWC Friday night games were popular, so it could well become a regular thing.

    Not sure it would work for England though – the RFU are already limited with what they can get away with from the residents of Twickenham, which is why there aren’t many games or other events at HQ compared with Wembley. Can you imagine living in Twickenham or Richmond and needing to get home on a Friday night when there’s a game on at HQ? The RFU might not be able to swing that one.

  4. All England games should be moved to Friday evenings with immediate effect. That way I could nobly boycott them and claim I’m doing it out of principle, as an objection to the TV schedulers, rather than because I find it so depressing that my team are hopeless.

  5. A lot of Welsh fans this year have opted for the trip to Rome rather than Paris and those I’ve spoken too ,well my brother that is , said the Friday night kick off was one of the reasons he made this choice.Having been to both I prefer the Italian trip and it’s not because Wales are more likely to win as our record in Paris is better !

    THe French have a record of playing rugby at this mad time of night – though it’s only 8 p.m for them – and the viewing figures for French tv at this time are meant to be very good. The WRU took a “bribe” rumoured to be a million pounds to agree to this , so I suppose this is possibly good for Welsh rugby overall provided it doesn’t just go into the pension pot of overseas players signed by the regions.

    Personally I find Sunday afternoon matches as much of a pain . Odd numbered years are good ones for the travelling Welsh fans as we have a choice of Rome, Paris or Edinburgh and I think there is some voting with the feet as to which venue you go to based on game times . The Scottish trip though tends to be pre-arranged well in advance with a lot of people travelling with their clubs and therefore the time of the game has a lesser effect .

    As far as a boycott is concerned I predict more Welsh shirts in the crowd in Rome this year but it isn’t going to stop us watching it on the box so I suppose the powers that be will be proving their point – I don’t like it though.

  6. By the way the two Welsh fans in the photo look more like their sitting stunned in the stadium in Nantes post the Fiji game in the World Cup rather than in Paris , there were a few of us around like them too on that night !!

  7. Thank god I now know why we are playing France on a Friday night.
    As an ex-pat, (no not from Eire though my grandfather was) enduring the hot weather out here, and the near total lack of rugby coverage. Spanish TV puts on one premiership game at 12.30am a week. Squeezed into a full sporting coverage of footie, basketball, tennis, synchronised swimming, and here in tenerife lucha ( like sumo wrestling but the competitors aren’t nearly as fat or ugly).
    It will make no difference to me personally, cos i can’t get a bbc streaming coverage cos i live abroad. Had to watch the 2nd half of the Scottish game on french tv stream, by all accounts the commentary is better than the bbc at the mo.
    So instead of having to spend a sunny afternoon under shade in a bar watching it on a Saturday or Sunday. I can sunbathe, then hit a local bar at a decent time and watch the game,
    ps if the rumour of a £1 million bribe to the WRU is correct does my nationality ( born in Port Talbot and proud of it) entitle me to apply for some sun tan lotion, and after sun.

    It’s going to be a tough game but since i have lived abroad the Welsh performance has improved.
    I am planning to return for the final fixture on 21st March, any one nervous about this visits possible impact on the Welsh side is more than welcome to offer me large sums of money ( euros not sterling please).

    Hasta la vista Buddy boys

  8. it is a hardship, no frost, they even disconnect the heated rear windscreens on all cars as the function is obsolete here.
    re the photo, I am the slightly wieght ( too many evens pies i think) compromised individual on the left as you look at the screen.
    the unhappy face is because the “patent hair renewal cream” that looked and smelt like sheep poo actually turned out to be sheep poo
    we dont have a first xv out here, they only sport they play with odd shaped balls appears to be lucha ( sorry old joke)
    have to dash the suns been out for ages and i need to top up my tan before i pack my rugby shirt ( part of the national costume of Welsh rugby supporters), levi 501’s and my stick on Welsh dragon tatoo ready for the game on the 21st march, unless someone sends loads of dosh my way

  9. PS,
    do i apply diect to the WRU for funding for my skin care products, or can i get them via Tom Jones’s agent?

  10. tenerife_porttalbot , none of that money is left though it’s gone on our Gav’s sun-bed sessions and hair and skin care products just to keep the lad sweet and looking like he’s just spent six months in your current place of residence rather than just down the road from your home town . He did throw a wobbly the weekend before last when told the funds were about to dry up but he’s back on board now after an appeal to supporters generated £7.50 (thats about half an Euro to you ) for a bottle of Ambre Solaire aftersun lotion.

    As far as a jinx is concerned nah I think this current team is beyond this even I couldn’t muck it up after avoiding the English fixture since 2001 for this reason but even attending the game this year I couldn’t muck it up for them(though I had my doubts at times ) , so come on over the Hiraeth is calling you.

  11. I am traveling in a group of 6 to the game on Friday Night. First time in Paris for a 6 Nations game. We go to Edinburgh every 2 years, but have found it dssappointing when we play on a Sunday. Saturday is great, but the atmosphere after the game ion a Sunday s dire. We decided on Paris due to cheap flights and accommodation. Going out Thursday Evening and returning Sunday Night. Come on Wales …..

  12. Have a good trip Chris and with your surname there are parts of Paris you should especially enjoy ………….

  13. Does anybody know of a pub/club Nr Boston MA USA that will be showing the Wales-France game on Friday.
    I’ve contacted 5 ‘Setanta pub (Irish) and their not showin Fridays game

  14. Well its only 4 1/2 hours to go to the kick off and i am nearly ready for it.
    Welsh hymns including Green Green Grass of Home and Delilah playing loud on the computer, this is music my fellow neighbours, better than “orejas de van gogh” and bloody “Juanes”
    Been to to local tiends de verduras comprado purros ( local fruit and veg shop and bought a leek).
    Ironed my Welsh Rugby shirt
    Cut down one pair of Levi 501’s into shorts cos after a short spell of rain its hot again
    got My lucky underpants on.
    Using after sun instead of hair gel cos i didin’t get any funding from the WRU bung for skin care product, I forgot to apply using the name Gav!!!!!
    one of the two english bars in my local town, 10 min walk from aparment, is showing the game.
    So 6.00 Watch The simpsons in Spanish
    7.10 s s s
    7.30 ( we’re on the same time zone as Cardiff) leave apartment.
    7.40 Get best seat possible in english bar
    7.41 order first pint of frothy lager 2.5 euros a 1/2 litre, about £2.75 a pint.
    7.45 order second pint with less froth and more liquid ( sin espuma por favor)
    8.00 Stand proudly and sing solo “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”
    8.10 more beer
    8.30 see 8.10
    8.50 see 8.10, pacing myself now.
    10.00 accept the congratulations of fellow barfly’s for a sterling performance by gods chosen.
    10.15 Back at apartment ( it’s uphill on the way back ), smiling at all locals who don’t understand why I am happy but seem to accept the aura of contentment.
    Try and explain to my Canarian partner what has occurred.
    Later sleep the sleep of a man who has just watched it happen and know that tomorrow the sun shall shine. We will be one step closer.
    Come on the boys.

  15. It is possible to get the live BBC games on the internet, if you use Firefox and have a UK proxy server. The BBC sites stream the games live (not sure which ones they have the rights for) but only available to UK viewers. The use of a UK proxy server circumvents that restriction. I mean, apparently, so I’ve heard, because it might not be fully legal.

  16. The match should be shown by French TV, well after paying £1million to the WRU allegeldy.
    This you can acces through Justin tv, on the net, the commentary is in French but the score is still the same.
    This is fairly legal as long as the stream is not coming via the bbc, there is another web site LiveTV that will allow you to see about 30 french stations, including fashion TV if the girlfiend/wife is about.

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