Nations: Which stadium is the best for tournaments?

By JamesNavarro

It is either the pure passion of the Principality or the carnival atmosphere of Paris.

This is the latest debate addressed by Sam Warburton, ex-British and Irish Lions captain, and Danny Care, ex-England scrumhalf on the Six Nations Greatest podcast.

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5. Ireland’s Aviva Stadium

Warburton: I loved it at Aviva. The pitch was impeccable. The changing rooms were spotless. The stadium is magnificent.

“It’s a fantastic stadium with a great ambience and the Irish are very active there. Ireland’s home life is very challenging and they thrive on that home advantage.”

Care: “We’ve played there many times on St Patrick’s Day, and it’s an amazing atmosphere. It’s a festival vibe, but it also gives you the feeling that you aren’t very well-liked as an Englishman.

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4. France’s Stade de France

Warburton: “It is a beautiful stadium with large changing rooms, really grand and very French as one can imagine.

“That was the most hostile place I’ve ever played in. Many of the Scottish and Welsh fans sing, but they seem to just shout. It is very aggressive and hostile. It was the Stade de France that I found most frightening.

3. The BT Murrayfield in Scotland

Care: “When you get off the bus at Murrayfield, they are so close to you calling you all the name under the sun… We’ve had bottles thrown towards us, and we’ve been doused with beer.

“Scotland: When you arrive there, you feel a real hatred that those people want to hurt you. Murrayfield is a place I have few great memories of. I believe the fans are a big part of that. They make it terrible and make it uncomfortable.

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2. Twickenham, England

Care: “Twickenham, the home of rugby. I can still remember running out the first time. I was so excited and had tears in my eyes.

It’s great when it’s loud, but it’s not as good as any Six Nations stadium. But, if it’s quiet and you aren’t playing well, you will feel it like an England player.

“I will always remember that we played Argentina in 2009 and the greatest cheer was when someone threw a paper plane and it passed through the posts. We were just playing so badly.”

1. Wales’ Principality Stadium

Warburton: “[It] is the proximity to pitch and how close fans are to the action. Because we couldn’t hear each other, we had to use body language [line out] calls.

“It’s located in the city center and there are another 100,000 people who drink within a half-mile radius of the stadium.

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It’s the heart of Cardiff. It’s the best location-wise. It’s the best. I think, “Oh, am I being biased?” Richie McCaw, a former captain of New Zealand, said that you don’t have international graduation unless your played at the Principality.