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Six Nations 2024: Scotland make U-turn on Principality Stadium roof

Guinness Six Nations 2024: Wales v Scotland

Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 3 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT

Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Scotland, Radio Cymru & live text on the BBC Sport website and app. Highlights on Scrum V, Sunday, BBC Two Wales and online, 4 February and later on demand

Scotland have made a U-turn with the Principality Stadium roof now closed on Saturday for the Six Nations opening game in Cardiff.

Gregor Townsend's side had asked initially for the roof to be left open, a decision which Wales coach Warren Gatland called "disappointing".

Scotland have now asked to have the roof closed with rain forecast throughout Saturday.

Six Nations regulations say both sides have to agree to have the roof closed.

Wales are happy with the about turn, with Scotland having not won in Cardiff in 22 years and 11 attempts.

Gatland was asked about the original decision on Thursday after naming his side to face Wales.

"The roof's going to be open, Scotland want the roof open which is a little disappointing from an atmosphere point of view, because when that roof is shut it does tend to create a lot more atmosphere and noise in the stadium," Gatland had said.

"But that's the decision that they made.

"I've been consistent in terms of that [wanting it closed], I think it creates an unbelievable atmosphere.

"We've looked at the weather conditions and it's set to be a bit drizzly on Saturday. I think with the roof closed it adds to the ambience and makes it a really special occasion.

"I've no idea [why teams want it open]. You'll have to ask them.

"The thing is both teams have to agree. I look at it and say 'well it's our stadium, we should be able to say whether it's open or closed'.

"That's not my decision to be made. It's part of the agreement. The decision has been made now. We haven't spoken about it as a squad. We've said to the players it's open and we have to deal with that."

Ireland made a similar decision in the final game of the 2019 Six Nations with Wales winning comfortably to win the Grand Slam.

When asked whether he thought Scotland's thoughts about the atmosphere were behind the decision, Gatland responded: "Yeah possibly. Maybe they felt potentially more comfortable playing in the wet conditions, I'm not sure.

"You look at Ireland in 2019, the last game in the Six Nations. They had the roof open, it was pouring down with rain. Strange."

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend had explained his initial reasoning before the change of heart.

"I thought we had 48 hours to decide, but they said on Wednesday you have to come to a decision," said Townsend.

"I looked at the forecast and it looked quite nice, I'd much prefer playing with the roof open if we can.

"It's noisier when the roof's closed, that's why they're disappointed. They don't get that [advantage].

"If the pitch is greasy it's not great conditions, but it would be better playing in heavy rain. When we looked, it was good weather with 20% to 30% chance of rain in the morning."

Townsend had remained philosophical should that happen, saying: "I hope the weather stays dry, we want it to be a dry day.

"If that's the case the conditions will be better because the ball does get greasy and sweaty when the roof's closed.

"You play rugby at every other ground that doesn't have a roof. So you play in the dry and the wet.

"If it's a wet day it will be trickier to move the ball, but I have confidence our players can do that, or find another way to put pressure on the opposition through defence and a kicking game.

"I hope it's rain in the morning and dry in the afternoon, but we do play in the winter in our sport so players are used to a wet ball."