Wednesday 29 March 2017

'Twickenham's not a public bar': Clive Woodward hits out at drinking culture at rugby matches

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Clive Woodward has shone a light on one of rugby's biggest issues - but it has nothing to do with the on-field product.

The World-Cup-winning coach used his Daily Mail column to chide Twickenham fans who consistently leave their seats during games to go to the bar, producing a never-ending visual obstruction for stationery supporters.

Rugby stadiums allow fans to bring alcohol down to their seats during matches, something that many in attendance routinely take advantage of.

However, Woodward feels that such behaviour detracts from the atmosphere at Twickenham and urges fans to confine their revelry to before and after matches.

"Twickenham is not primarily a public bar, it's a wonderful ground where rugby must come first, second and third and where members of the public of all ages must feel completely comfortable and welcome," he said in the Mail.

"I seemed to touch on a very raw nerve the other day when I mentioned how irritating the constant procession of fans to and from the bars and lavatories at Twickenham is getting during the game.

"It has got out of control recently and is fast becoming a real issue.

"I would seriously think about shutting the drinks outlets 10-15 minutes before kick-off and not opening them again until the final whistle is blown.

"Guys — and girls — it's only an hour and 20 minutes with a 15-minute half-time break for essential calls of nature. Surely we can manage that? You wouldn't think of behaving like this at a theatre or cinema."

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