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Owens can’t wait for ‘special’ return of full crowds

Ken Owens (right) and Alun Wyn Jones on their way to Wales training

Owens can’t wait for ‘special’ return of full crowds

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Ken Owens is relishing the “special” chance to run out in front of a sold-out Principality Stadium for the first time since March 2020 this autumn.

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Wales’ first autumn international with New Zealand on October 30 will be played with a capacity Cardiff crowd in attendance.

The Covid-19 pandemic means supporters have not been allowed in large numbers at the home of Welsh rugby since last year’s Guinness Six Nations.

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But that will change in the weeks to come as Wayne Pivac’s side take on the All Blacks and then South Africa, Fiji and Australia on consecutive weekends.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac casts his eye over his players in training

Click here, to buy tickets to Wales’ autumn internationals

“Missing out on the crowd in the Six Nations was a shock to me because I hadn’t played a lot of rugby with no crowd having been injured last autumn,” experienced hooker Owens said.

“It was a shock playing Test rugby with no crowd in Cardiff so I’m just looking forward to having that opportunity with 75,000 people at Principality Stadium.

“It’s a special atmosphere to play in front of and one the boys have missed. It’s been good to be back in camp.

“Obviously, I wasn’t here over the summer so the last time we were in it was for a good Six Nations. It’s been a good week so far and it’s nice to be back around the boys.

“It’s been a quick turnaround from the Lions. I had a little bit of time off when I got back. We had two weeks less of pre-season and then straight back into it. It’s been a bit of a shock to the system.

“You’ve just got to get on with it.”

It was a shock playing Test rugby with no crowd in Cardiff so I’m just looking forward to having that opportunity with 75,000 people at Principality Stadium. It’s a special atmosphere to play in front of and one the boys have missed

Owens, 34, has 82 Welsh caps and five for the British & Irish Lions who he represented in South Africa this summer.

He knows how important it is for head coach Pivac and the Wales players to test themselves against the best in the world ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

“It’s the nature of the beast with rugby – boys going down with injury,” said Owens.

“It’s something we never want to see because you want your best players fit and available taking on the best teams in the world.

“But it will be an opportunity for someone else to put their hand up and stake a claim.

“It’s going to be tough. All of these campaigns are building for the World Cup in two years’ time.

READ MORE: Adams excited for huge All Blacks challenge

“It’s a new opportunity for some of the boys coming in to experience an autumn series, play against teams from the southern hemisphere, the best teams in the world, and face a different style.

“There is a lot of experience in this squad but it will be new for a lot of the boys.

“It will be good exposure for them leading through to the World Cup.”

Ticket details for Wales’ autumn fixtures: 

Wales v New Zealand, Principality Stadium – Saturday 30th October SOLD-OUT 

Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium – Saturday 6th November CAT A £75 (£37.50) / CAT B £65 (£32.50) / CAT C £45 (£22.50) 

Wales v Fiji, Principality Stadium – Sunday 14th November CAT A £35 (£17.50) / CAT B £25 (£12.50) / CAT C £20 (£10) 

Wales v Australia, Principality Stadium – Saturday 20th November CAT A £75 (£37.50) / CAT B £65 (£32.50) / CAT C £45 (£22.50) 

For the first time, concession tickets are available in ALL categories for ALL matches across the series (shown in brackets). 

CLICK HERE To buy tickets

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Owens can’t wait for ‘special’ return of full crowds
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Owens can’t wait for ‘special’ return of full crowds
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Owens can’t wait for ‘special’ return of full crowds
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