The hottest rugby tickets in town this summer, for Wales’ Rugby World Cup warm-up showdowns at the Millennium Stadium against the flare-filled Barbarians, the auld enemy England and the might of Argentina, go on public sale tomorrow (Friday) from 12 noon.
Wales will be limbering up for the Rugby world’s showpiece tournament in New Zealand with a Cardiff fixture list – as well as an away clash against the English at Twickenham - which has a mix of everything any rugby fan could wish for, from scrum and line-out purists to try-time fanatics.
The games, which for the first time offer a new under 18s enclosure at just £15 per head and will host a family of four for as little as £70 (Argentina), £100 (Barbarians) and £110 (England),  will be head coach Warren Gatland’s final chance to fine-tune his Rugby World Cup squad, which must be announced by Monday 22nd August 2011.
Gatland will take a squad of up to 40 players on three separate training camps in the lead up to the matches and he must then whittle that number down to just 30 players who will board the plane to New Zealand, with just these final games on home soil remaining to help him make some of the most important decisions ever asked of an international coach.
His first opportunity comes against the instinctively attack-minded Barbarians on Saturday 4th June, where players will be given their first opportunity of the summer to bid for RWC spots.
Traditionally Baa-Baas games are the most spectacular of them all, but when you add a Wales side, hoping to peak at just the right time in 2011, into the mix fans can expect fireworks and sparks to fly.
“The first thing for the squad players to do is impress us physically and in rugby terms on the training camps, then the opportunity comes against the Barbarians,” said Gatland.
“They are always an unknown quantity and we won’t really know what to expect from them until that first whistle goes, but that is the attraction of Baa Baas rugby.”
Wales then cross the Severn Bridge to face England on the 6th August, before the clash that means the most to many in Wales as our nearest neighbours and oldest rivals hit the heartland of the Cardiff Capital on Saturday 13 August in the return clash.
“England are one of the toughest opponents in Northern Hemisphere rugby and playing back to back home and away fixtures against them is the ideal preparation for the Rugby World Cup,” said Gatland.
“We will be testing ourselves physically and mentally against one of the very best teams in the world, who have a great RWC cup pedigree as previous winners and finalists on two occasions
“Both sides will hope to be nearing the peak of their powers and that combined with the long held and traditional rivalry that exists between the two nations should make it a fantastic game for the fans.”
Finally on Saturday 20th, before the kit bags are packed and the plane leaves for one of the greatest sporting shows of them all just a few short weeks later, the Pumas will pack down at Wales HQ.
Last time the sides met a Shane Williams double try effort saw Wales seal a 33-16 victory, but can they do it again in a game which will be the final RWC appetizer on home soil.
The Pumas represent Gatland’s final chance to make key decisions and the players’ last opportunity to book their seats on the plane and touchdown in the land of the long white cloud.
“Argentina are really strong opponents, particularly up front and very hard to break down,” added Gatland.
“This will be our final game on home soil, the last chance for the players to impress before RWC selection which must be completed 48 hours later and our final chance as coaches to make some tough decisions.
“It’s also the last chance for the fans to show their support and give a final send-off before we travel to the other side of the world to represent Wales at the biggest tournament in rugby.”
Tickets remaining for the summer RWC warm-up fixtures against the Barbarians and England at the Millennium Stadium are priced at £40 and £30 for adults, £100 for a family ticket (2 adults 2 children) for the Baa Baas game and £110 family ticket for the England match, with a new category introduced this season of £15 for the under 18s enclosure.
The final game on homes soil against Argentina is even cheaper at £30 and £20 for adults, £70 for a family of four and £15 for the under 18s enclosure.
Tickets can be purchased online at from 12 noon tomorrow or by calling the ticket hotline 08442 777 888.
Sat 4 June 2011 - Wales v Barbarians, Millennium Stadium (KO tba)
Sat 13 Aug 2011 - Wales v England, Millennium Stadium (KO tba)
Sat 20 Aug 2011 - Wales v Argentina, Millennium Stadium (KO tba)


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