This month's double Welsh derby at the Millennium Stadium will be attended by a record number of supporters - as Judgement Day III hands Welsh rugby the chance to show pride and passion in the regional game.
The regional double-header, to be played out at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 25 April, has already surpassed previous attendance figures with over 37,500 fans having already paid the £10 entrance fee for the four-team festival of rugby.
The inaugural Judgement Day fixture in 2013 attracted a 36,000 strong crowd, the highest to date, but new standards will be set in 2015 with the Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies and Pro Rugby Wales Chief Executive Mark Davies united in also issuing a rallying call to Welsh rugby supporters to get behind the event in numbers.
The annual rugby event this year features Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys kicking off at 2.30pm and Newport Gwent Dragons versus the Scarlets at 4.45pm, and looks set to go from strength to strength in the years to come on the basis of this year’s take up from rugby fans.
Pro Rugby Wales Chief Executive Mark Davies said: “This is a real opportunity for a positive celebration of Welsh rugby and all of us involved in the game have a responsibility to make that happen.
“It’s a unique opportunity and experience to see 92 of the best players in our game on the same pitch in one afternoon; for our national coaches to see that talent perform in highly competitive back to back fixtures; for every Welsh player and aspiring international to show their mettle and a unique occasion for all rugby followers to enjoy.
“Everyone involved in the Regional game is excited at the prospect of this year’s event and we’re working hard to spread the message and involve and engage with rugby enthusiasts of all ages, particularly our young junior players who we hope will be inspired by being part of such a big regional rugby event in the national stadium.
“We all want to work towards a positive future with the whole of Welsh rugby moving forward healthily – that is what the game is about and the opportunity we all have is to show that unity on a large scale in our capital city so we would encourage everyone who loves the game to give this fixture their full support.”
WRU Chairman Gareth Davies said: “The players on show will be amongst the best in the UK and the rugby on show will be of the highest level and I doubt whether any other fans in the UK would be able to see so many British and Irish Lions in one stadium on one day.”
“The tickets are already selling fast so there is already evidence that the concept of a day when we celebrate the strength of the Regional game in the home of Welsh rugby is working.
“This is a great opportunity for the true fans to turn out and deliver a resounding message to the rugby community that regional rugby deserves a massive following.
“The future of Welsh rugby is all about unity and the supporters have a huge role to play in making sure we remain a powerful force in sport and retain our place at the cultural heart of life in Wales.
“The Regions deserve credit for evolving and developing a level of professional rugby in Wales which is proving to be a crucial element of the pathway into our international game.
“We are entering a new phase of the evolution of Welsh rugby and it is important we continue to show how we can all work together to keep getting stronger and stronger.”
Tickets are available from www.wru.wales/tickets, the WRU ticket office on Westgate Street, each of the four Regions, at local Tesco stores or by calling Ticketmaster on 0844 847 1881.