Welsh Rugby Union chairman David Pickering hopes Friday night RBS 6 Nations rugby is here to stay.
The WRU have agreed to continue the experiment in 2010 by staging Wales’ Millennium Stadium clash with France at 8pm on Friday, February 26.
France’s thrilling 21-16 Friday night victory over Wales in this year’s RBS 6 Nations attracted the second-highest average television audience of the whole championship.
“We are starting to see genuine reasons for saying the experiment is a successful one,” said Pickering.
“The match in Paris last year generated the biggest television audience for a game in France at an average audience of 5.9million and television audiences throughout the UK, Ireland and Italy were the second largest of all the fifteen tournament games at 11m.
“We had a sell-out Stade de France crowd, a tremendous atmosphere and produced one of the best matches of the tournament for the neutral.
“In Wales we would obviously like to reverse the result next year but we are very much looking forward to what should be a great night out in Cardiff for the fans, a bumper TV audience and a magnificent atmosphere for the players within the confines of the Millennium Stadium.
“Our own rugby clubs, with Cross Keys RFC being a prime example, have reported a genuine positive impact from the Friday night fixture with club-houses around Wales full to the rafters and record takings being reported in the bars.
“Wales is delighted to be involved in the ongoing experiment in the fixture schedule.”
The Wales-France fixture has been scheduled for round three of the 2010 championship after a weekend off and the WRU were delighted to have again avoided a home Sunday fixture.
“The schedule always throws up individual difficulties for every team and all sides have different elements to cope with in a season, but we are embracing Friday nights and the commercial impact for us has already been rewarding,” Pickering added.