The Wales national rugby union team was established in 1881 and is managed by the governing body - The Welsh Rugby Union or WRU for short. Wales also played their first international in 1881 against England. All home games are played at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, formally known as the Millenium Stadium. Whilst visiting the stadium you are sure to hear the Welsh National Anthem sung proudly before every international match. Land of my Fathers was written by Evan James and the melody composed by his son, James James in January 1856. It is a superb anthem, loved the world over and is sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck when witnessed in the flesh.
Wales is synonymous with success in domestic rugby having won the Six Nations/Five Nations on 27 occasions, a total second only to England. Their most recent success being a Grad Slam and Six Nations Championship in 2019. Welsh rugby has enjoyed several 'Golden Eras' where the team has been almost untouchable. From 1900 - 1911, this period included a famous 3-0 win over New Zealand, 1969 - 1980 when they won eight Five Nations Championships, and 2005 to the present. This modern era has included five Six Nations titles and four Grand Slams. Two fourth-place finishes at the Rugby World Cup and a first-ever stint as the number 1 ranked nation in the world by World Rugby.
Wales have competed at every Rugby World Cup but the third place achieved in the inaugural tournament remains their best finish to date. In 1999 Wales principally hosted the Rugby World Cup, with matches played around the then 5 Nations unions as well, the final was played at the then newly built Millenium Stadium.
Wales lined up in Pool D at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. It was to be hugely successful coach Warren Gatland's swansong and the players more than delivered. Even in the face of adversity, backs coach Rob Howley was cited to return home under a cloud of betting charges, the players more than lived up to their Six Nations form. In the pool stages, they successfully dispatched Georgia, Australia, Fiji, and Uruguay. This left the Welshmen top of Pool D and progressing to a quarter-final against France.
In an eventful match, Wales squeezed past with a 74th minute try from Ross Moriarty, converted by Dan Biggar. Earlier in the match, France had generally been in the ascendancy but in a moment of madness from French lock Sebastien Vahaamahhina, he unleashed an elbow mid maul to earn himself a red card and gift the momentum to Wales. Final Score: 20 -19.
Wales proceeded to a Semi-Final against eventual winners South Africa. Wales only lost this match 16-19 however it had been a comprehensive and muscular display from the Springboks.
In the match nobody wants - the 3rd/4th playoff - Wales were defeated heavily by the All Blacks. However, a 4th place finish is more than respectable. By qualifying from their pool, Wales have also qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be hosted in France.
Wales 2020 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures
In 2020, Wales will be looking to back up the success of 2019's Grand Slam Victory. New head coach Wayne Pivac brings an enviable coaching pedigree. His team of former Wales Internationals includes Stephen Jones, Jonathan Humphreys, Neil Jenkins, Byron Hayward and Sam Warburton, and with three former captains amongst them, will bring plenty of on-field experience to the coaching team.
Round 1: Saturday 1st February - Wales v Italy; K.O 14.15, Principality Stadium, Cardiff. TV: BBC SPORT + S4C
Round 2: Saturday 8th February - Ireland v Wales; K.O 14.15, Aviva Stadium, Dublin. TV: ITV SPORT + S4C
Round 3: Saturday 22nd February - Wales v France; K.O 16.45, Principality Stadium, Cardiff. TV: BBC SPORT + S4C
Round 4: Saturday 7th March - England v Wales; K.O 16.45, Twickenham Stadium, London. TV: ITV SPORT + S4C
Round 5: Saturday 14th March - Wales v Scotland; K.O 14.15, Principality Stadium, Cardiff. TV: BBC SPORT + S4C
Wales 2020 Summer Tests
In the summer of 2020, Wales will take on the unenviable task of a two-match test series against the All Blacks in New Zealand.
Saturday 4th July: New Zealand v Wales; Eden Park, Auckland (kick-off TBC)
Saturday 11th July: New Zealand v Wales; Sky Stadium, Wellington (kick-off TBC)
Wales's 2020 Autumn Tests
At the time of writing the WRU have not yet announced their Autumn Test Series for 2020. However, we will endeavour to update this when the information is released.
Wales traditionally play in a red shirt with white shorts and red socks. Under Armour have been manufacturers of all official Wales rugby kit since 2008. The current shirt sponsor is Isuzu. Under Armour had initially signed the Welsh Rugby Kit deal through to 2024, however, the WRU and Under Armour have amicably agreed to split at the end of 2020. Under Armour cited a change of strategy as being the reasons behind the early termination. The WRU are in discussions with a number of leading kit suppliers to replace Under Armour, Italian manufacturer Macron are rumoured to be the front runners. Any new shirt won't be seen in action until the 2021 Six Nations. The Under Armour contract will expire after the 2020 Autumn Test series.
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