Joe Schmidt has said and hinted that Wales have broke protocol as they have as the Six Nations hierarchy to close the roof of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff for Saturday’s meeting between the sides.
The current Six Nations rules clearly state that both sides have to agree for the roof of the stadium to be closed. Speaking to RTE Sport Schmidt said Wales had asked Six Nations chiefs for the roof to be closed due to poor weather conditions which are expected, Schmidt didnt appear to be to happy about this. “There’s been a request from Wales that in the interest of the quality of the game and the very poor weather forecast that the roof be closed,”
Schmidt said that either way Ireland will cope. He said “So they’ve said to the Six Nations directly, ‘can it be closed?”‘ When it was put to Schmidt that normally the visitors would be asked to decide on the roof, Schmidt replied: “Yes, normally, normally.” And when asked what Ireland want, Schmidt continued: “We’ll adapt, we’ll adapt. At the moment I’m not sure about the roof.”
Schmidt speaking to RTE Sport continued “So we will probably be happy enough if it’s open anyway. We’ll adapt to whatever conditions the game’s played in. And if the Six Nations decide that it’s going to be closed, well it will be closed and we’ll play in those conditions. “And if they decide that it’s open, then we’ll play in those conditions. For us, I think, the last time it was closed we arrived there and there was a lot said about making it good for spectators.”And then the sprinklers were on for 30 minutes and the ground was very, very damp before the game started. “So that probably enters into our minds about which closed is it going to be? Is it going to be closed and wet, or is it going to be closed and dry?
It remains to be seen what will happen regarding this but Wales boss Warren Gatland has also had an opinion on it and he said they are waiting on a decision from Ireland. “We have not heard definitively but we understand they want it open, which is not a concern for us,””My only concern is that if it is pouring down with rain then we do have a responsibility to the game for a spectacle”.
Only time will tell what will happen. Mind games are starting by the looks of it though.