Every sport has its stadiums, its theatres, and fields where dreams are made. Football, cricket, tennis and many other sports all have their various hallowed grounds – and rugby union is no different. We’ve put together a list of the world’s seven top rugby union stadiums that you should visit if you want to really experience rugby at its best.
Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand’s largest stadium with a seating capacity of 50,000, Eden Park can suffer from changeable weather at times – but fans agree it’s a small issue. Right in the centre of the country’s largest city, it was the first stadium in the world to host two Rugby World Cup finals.
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia
Even though it’s built on top of a graveyard, this stadium is the first major Australian venue that actually started out as a rugby league venue. A triple-tiered, European style stadium with stands that creep right up to the pitch, it’s also been known as Suncorp-Metway Stadium and Lang Park.
Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa
Although a brand new stadium was built in Cape Town for the 2010 football World Cup and there’s also Johannesburg Ellis Park, it’s hard to beat Newlands. It’s South Africa’s oldest rugby stadium, and the backdrop of Table Mountain looming out of the stands is sure to capture your attention even if the action on the pitch doesn’t.
Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aries, Argentina
Although rugby games do rotate around the country, this location has been the home of many memorable test matches for Los Pumas – although if you’re French you might want to give a visit to this stadium a miss, as Les Bleus haven’t won at this stadium since the late 1990s. One of the oldest stadiums in the country, the original wooden incarnation predates WWII.
Twickenham, London, England
Over a hundred years old, Twickenham stadium is the largest ground in the world that’s completely devoted to rugby union. Although the atmosphere can go a bit flat when things aren’t going the right way for England, the place can definitely rock, as the Six Nations finale against France proved. If you’re driving to Twickenham stadium, check out Twickenham parking as you’ll need to pre-book to get a space on the day.
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
With a capacity of 74,500, many Welsh fans proclaim that this is the greatest stadium in world rugby. And, it’s hard to disagree with them when a game is in full flow – the noise generated by the fans during a game can be pretty impressive when the roof is closed. Right in the centre of Cardiff’s nightlife, and with a very affordable park and ride facility nearby, it’s a great location for those visiting.
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Previously known as the iconic Lansdowne Road, which dated back to 1872, Avivia Stadium has been recently going through a reinvention and redesign. Reinventing an icon is no easy task, but the grounds at Avivia have won awards for architecture and is also a firm favourite with a large number of fans. It’s a popular spot for rugby fans looking for a weekend away as the stadium is close to Dublin city centre.
Which of these stadiums have you visited? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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