For many rugby fans, the Six Nations is a chance to let their hair down while also taking in an elite sporting event. They certainly tend to make a day out of it, or even a whole weekend if they travel to support their team away from home.
Of course, a large portion of those that attend the games also like to enjoy a couple of pints along the way. Rugby certainly has a more lenient attitude to alcohol than some other sports, with drinking in the seats permitted at the various venues in the competition. That is something that is usually not the case in football or the GAA.
In saying that, many have also criticised the party atmosphere that this has created at some games. For example, spectators coming in and out of their seats during the game in order to buy alcohol or use the toilet has been an issue at the Aviva Stadium over the last few years.
Some unions are now attempting to tackle this problem, although such an initiative led to some major problems at a Six Nations game over the weekend.
Alcohol-free zones lead to farcical scenes at Six Nations clash
The RFU proposed a creative solution to this issue during England's game against Wales over the weekend, although it seemed that it was one that was not exactly welcome by supporters.
The Telegraph are reporting that a number of fans requested refunds after unknowingly buying tickets for an alcohol-free areas for the Six Nations clash. This meant they were unable to bring alcoholic drinks to their seats.
Apparently, many fans were not aware of this trial. They claimed they were not warned in advance and only realised they would be affected when they attempted to reach their seats after being told by stewards or seeing signs as they exited the concourse.
As there was no warning before this point, many of them had already purchased alcoholic drinks only to be informed they would not be allowed to bring them into their seats.
This reportedly led to some farcical scenes, including one fan downing four pints in succession. Some of those who did manage to reach their seats with drinks were asked to leave and return when the drinks were finished, which included one entire row of spectators.
While the trial was introduced to ensure supporters had a smoother viewing experience, it had the opposite effect on this occasion.
An RFU spokesperson would claim that fans who bought tickets in the affected areas would have been made aware at the time of purchase:
Twickenham Stadium introduced alcohol-free areas for our two home Guinness Men’s Six Nations fixtures on a trial basis based on supporters’ feedback.
When selecting seats within these areas ticket purchasers would have clearly seen that they are buying within an alcohol-free zone and have ticked a box confirming that they have been made aware of the alcohol-free policy.
Barring a last minute change of plans, these alcohol-free areas will also be in place when Ireland visit Twickenham next month.
Quite a few Irish fans could be in for a surprise when they visit the ground only to be told that pints are not permitted in their seats.