It has always been the tradition that England rugby union matches are played at Twickenham and the football matches are at Wembley, but what if things were different and the fixtures were played at stadiums throughout the country? This would give fans in other parts of the country a chance to see live games without having to travel to London. It would also showcase other areas, such as Manchester, Leeds or Bristol, to a wider audience.
Following the French example
When the fixture list for the Six Nations 2018 and 2019 was announced, the France-Italy third-round match said the venue would be announced later. What is known is that it will not take place at the Stade de France in Paris as usual. Marseille is an early favourite to host it because it is not too far from the French border with Italy. Over in Spain, there isn’t a designated national sports stadium, although football internationals are usually played at Real Madrid’s ground, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Should rugby union games be shared across England? Certainly, there are venues big enough to host some matches or friendlies, such as Old Trafford in Manchester or St James’ Park in Newcastle. There are plenty of rugby supporters in the north who would love to see their nation play closer to home. However, RFU chairman Andy Cosslett has confirmed there are not plans to stage England matches away from Twickenham. One factor is the demand on its finances. Moreover, Twickenham can hold 82,000 people; there is no stadium in the north of England with that many seats.
Dreaming of running out at Twickenham
Twickenham is the traditional home of rugby and has a special place in the heart of so many fans. Young players dream of running out on to the pitch and playing for their country. For some, their hard work and training will pay off. If youngsters keep up with training and watch a rugby drill video such as those found at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/ to improve their technique, they may get the opportunity to play for England some day.
If asked, they would also want to say they played at Twickenham in front of 82,000 people. Tradition plays a big part in sport, and the chance to play at this iconic stadium is something to which all rugby union players.