Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - MAR­CUS HUGHES Re­porter mar­[email protected]­line.co.uk

RUGBY fans faced long queues again yes­ter­day as au­thor­i­ties warned spec­ta­tors to ar­rive early due to height­ened se­cu­rity checks. And while most of them made it pitch-side in time for the Haka, they were left still wait­ing for a Wales win against the All Blacks. Again. The Welsh Rugby Union is­sued warn­ings ahead of Wales’ clash with New Zealand yes­ter­day, ad­vis­ing spec­ta­tors to ar­rive at the ground at least an hour be­fore kick­off

Most vis­i­tors ap­peared to have heeded the ad­vice of the WRU, but some still faced log-jams while wait­ing to pass se­cu­rity gates at the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium.

After the game, the WRU said: “A mas­sive thank-you to all the fans for turn­ing up early and cre­at­ing such a fan­tas­tic at­mo­sphere.” Be­fore the game, stew­ards warned of up to three-quar­ters-of-an-hour waits in some ar­eas and fans didn’t en­joy hav­ing to be in so early. Nick Clif­ford, 54, said he reg­u­larly vis­its Twick­en­ham to see rugby in­ter­na­tion­als, but had never seen queues like this.

Sarah Jones had trav­elled from New­port to see the game.

“I know it’s got to be done but they need a few more peo­ple,” she said. “We waited three-quar­ters of an hour last time and missed quar- ter of an hour of the game.

“When you are pay­ing £70 for a ticket, it’s not on, is it?”

Ear­lier in the week, sta­dium man­ager Mark Wil­liams said his pri­or­ity re­mained the safety and se­cu­rity of fans.

“The se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion has changed and we have to change too,” he said. “We have got to keep this place safe and se­cure and that means en­hanced checks.

“You can’t get 75,000 peo­ple into the sta­dium in 90 min­utes like we used to if we want to en­sure safety and se­cu­rity.”

Thou­sands of fans . missed the kick-off of Wales’ open­ing au­tumn in­ter­na­tional game against Aus­tralia due to the checks.

But the sit­u­a­tion ap­peared to im­prove for Wales v Ge­or­gia, with many fans ar­riv­ing ear­lier to make it to their seats.

The en­hanced pro­ce­dures were in­tro­duced at the sta­dium this year in re­sponse to the height­ened se­cu­rity risk in the UK.

Ev­ery ticket holder now faces a per­sonal check be­fore they reach the turn­stiles. Golf­ing um­brel­las and large bags are not al­lowed into the venue, but smaller per­sonal um­brel­las and bags are still per­mit­ted.

A fan gets her face painted. Right, huge queues to en­ter the sta­dium

Wales face the iconic New Zealand haka

Side by side, fans show their sup­port


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