TORFAEN MP Nick Thomas-Symonds is among a group of Welsh MPs to have signed a letter to Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive Gareth Davies calling on the union to do ‘everything it can’ to keep Welsh matches – and in particular Six Nations matches – on free-to-view TV.

The MPs, led by Gwent-born Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan, argues that taking the tournament off of free-to-air TV could lead to a decrease in participation, as we have seen in cricket, and a decrease in viewership, as shown in Formula One since its move to Sky Sports.

The letter explains that MPs are uneasy about forthcoming negotiations over the broadcasting rights for the annual rugby tournament.

It reads: “As we understand it, from 2021 a share of the rights is now held by CVC Capital Partners and is likely to be packaged in with the autumn internationals and summer tours, at least partly behind a paywall.”

“The forthcoming negotiations for broadcasting rights for the Six Nations are of great importance,” said Mr Thomas-Symonds. “Removing access from free-to-view television would be a huge mistake.

“Limiting access decreases viewership and participation.

“Rugby is such an important part of our culture here in Wales – I was pleased to join other Welsh MPs in making these points to the WRU, and I will watch the negotiations closely.”