Wales squad captain Sam Warburton has endorsed a new scheme from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) which enables fans to directly fund their local clubs by simply changing the way they shop for international match tickets.
Welsh rugby is built on the foundations of its member clubs, so it's great news that fans can now have a direct impact on the future success of our national game by simply using the clubs to buy their tickets
Warburton, who missed Wales recent tour of South Africa with a shoulder problem, is in pre-season training and on schedule to return to action for Cardiff Blues with the ultimate aim of returning to the international scene this Autumn.
Wales face South Africa, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand in the Dove Men Series in November with prices at the Millennium Stadium next season ranging from £10 to £20, for Fiji (tier 2), and from £25, £40, £60 and £70 for the clashes with the Springboks and the Wallabies, with concessions at 50% of full ticket price within price band B and group offers also available for the Fiji match.
To watch the All Blacks face Warren Gatland's Wales tickets start at £30 to £50, £75 and £80 and for Wales RBS 6 Nations clashes with England and Ireland the lowest price tickets are £35, with £55, £80 and £85 categories also available.
A new scheme from the WRU is now giving commission to rugby clubs, of up to £2,000 per club, and in some cases more when full allocations are sold, and fans can help ensure their local community clubs benefit from the scheme by purchasing their international rugby tickets directly from them.
And Warburton has joined the campaign to actively encourage fans to purchase all their Millennium Stadium match tickets at their local club by, instead of going online, where you will attract transaction fees.
"You never forget your first club and I have a huge amount of gratitude for all the coaches and parents and other volunteers at Rhiwbina and Glamorgan Wanderers rugby clubs, people who gave up their time to encourage me and my team-mates from a young age," said Warburton, who represented Wales at all age grade levels before being appointed Wales captain in 2011 and leading the British and Irish Lions in 2013.
"Without that encouragement I wouldn't be where I am today and wouldn't have had the privilege of pulling on the national jersey and representing my country.
"You always try and give of your best in a national shirt and you play for your family and friends, your team and your country and yourself, but also for all those people who have helped you along the way.
"Everyone has to start somewhere and your local rugby club can be a vital part of a player's formative years.
"The idea that fans can directly help their local clubs through purchasing tickets for international matches is one that I'm sure will appeal to many.
"Welsh rugby is built on the foundations of its member clubs, so it's great news that fans can now have a direct impact on the future success of our national game by simply using the clubs to buy their tickets."
With both England and Ireland also travelling to Cardiff in the new year for mouth-watering RBS 6 Nations clashes on the Millennium Stadium's new hybrid pitch system, the clamour for international tickets for the year ahead has already begun.
But, under the WRU's constitution, access will be granted first to its 320-strong network of members clubs, making clubs the best way to guarantee access to the matches you want to see.
The new scheme for clubs, which covers the tier one clashes with the All Blacks and England as well as matches against Australia, South Africa (Dove) and Ireland (RBS), means that for each individual ticket sold that club will also receive a cash gift from the WRU.
A further benefit to clubs is that if they sell their full allocation of tickets for the tier one matches described they will be awarded a full supply of senior side kit for the 2015/2016 season, for a 23-man squad, by official WRU partner Under Armour - in addition to the existing 15% off all UA kit offer which is already in place for 2014/2015 for all Welsh clubs.
Wales home fixtures for 2014/2015
Dove Men Series 2014
Saturday, 8th November: Wales v Australia, Millennium Stadium, 14h30
Saturday, 15th November: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium, 14h30
Saturday, 22nd November: Wales v New Zealand, Millennium Stadium, 17h30
Saturday, 29th November: Wales v South Africa, 14h30
RBS 6 Nations 2015
Friday, 6th February: Wales v England, Millennium Stadium 20h05
Saturday 14th March: Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium 14h30
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
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