Rugby League set to go behind closed doors in Wales

Rugby League is set to be played behind closed doors in Wales in the New Year following new restrictions from the Welsh government.

The devolved administration has ruled that crowds will not be able to watch matches at any level of sport from Boxing Day, as they battle against the Omicron variant of Covid.

The measures, which have no set end date, will affect professional and amateur sport.

While both professional Welsh sides in Rugby League, North Wales Cruasders and West Wales Raiders, do not begin their League 1 seasons until March, Challenge Cup fixtures will likely be impacted.

In the first round on the 15-16th January, community side Bridgend Blue Bulls have a home tie against the Royal Navy.

A fortnight later, in the second round, West Wales are set to host Swinton Lions at Stebonheath Park in Llanelli.

Fears of further restrictions remain in England, where last week measures were introduced requiring Covid passes for supporters to attend popular matches.

Proof of vaccination or a negative test will need to be shown at unseated grounds with more than 4,000 people, and any match with more than 10,000 people.

In response, Leeds Rhinos have capped the capacity for their Boxing Day clash with Wakefield Trinity to 9,999.