The double-headed clash is held days before the British & Irish Lions squad announcement (19th April) and also comes at a critical time in the run in for the four professional Welsh teams in the Guinness PRO12 with top four play-off places at stake.
Prices have been frozen for the third year running at just £10 per head for each seat in the house, as Welsh Rugby pools resources for the fifth incarnation of its Judgement Day extravaganza. Another impressive turn-out is expected after last year’s 68,262-record attendance and supporters are advised to buy in advance for the showpiece Guinness PRO12 double-derby day. Cardiff Blues take on the Ospreys in the first match of the day, kicking off at 2.45pm, swiftly followed by Newport Gwent Dragons versus Scarlets at 5.15pm. Both middle and lower tier seating has sold-out already, and hospitality at Principality Stadium is also approaching capacity, with the prospect of the players from the four pro teams making a late run for British & Irish Lions squad selection an interesting prospect for Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies.
“The 6 Nations has created impressive momentum which will climax with the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand this summer – selection for which will be just days away by the time Wales’ regional players take to the Principality Stadium pitch for Judgement Day V,” said Davies.
“There’s always a Lions ‘bolter’ and there’s every chance that player will be someone on show at Judgement Day this year.
“It’s a prospect that should really capture the imagination of supporters around the country and we expect the crowds that have flooded into Cardiff to play their part in the 6 Nations Championship, to once again return in their droves to support the club double header next month.
“Judgement Day has become a must-see event in the rugby calendar giving fans the opportunity to see the Welsh rugby’s stars facing each at our iconic national ground.
“Welsh Rugby has worked hard together on this event and Judgement Day has grown in size and stature year on year since its inception in
Before JDIV the previous Welsh domestic record saw 58,000 fans attend the Neath v Llanelli WRU Challenge Cup Final in 1989. The record attendance at any match involving a region had been 65,756 – when the Ospreys beat Leicester Tigers at Twickenham in the EDF Energy Cup Final in 2008.
Mark Davies, Chief Executive of Pro Rugby Wales which represents the four Welsh professional rugby teams, Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets said: “Judgement Day is a high profile rugby occasion for both players and supporters to show what their clubs and rugby regions mean to them, but crucially it is at the business end of our club rugby season with everything to play for and much at stake.
“It’s great to see that two of our Welsh teams are contesting at the top of an incredibly tight Guinness PRO12 Championship and currently ahead of highly competitive teams across the four nations including last year’s champions Connacht and 2015 winners Glasgow Warriors.
“The run in from now to the end of the club season in May is critical for our PRO12 teams, so the Judgement Day contests on the field are hugely significant and will be highly competitive, as well as being a successful rugby spectacle in the capital which attracts wider audiences and one we are all proud to be a part of in partnership.”
At last year’s Judgement Day contest the Ospreys took the spoils (Cardiff Blues 27 Ospreys 40) in the first derby with the Scarlets victorious against Newport Gwent Dragons (Newport Gwent Dragons 20 Scarlets 34).
Tickets are available at £10 per person from www.wru.wales/tickets (where print-at-home is available), or by calling 0844 847 1881, in person from the WRU Ticket Office on Westgate Street or from each of the four Regions.
Season tickets purchased from either of the home teams - Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons - include access to Judgement Day V, with supporters asked to liaise with the respective box offices.