Dan Biggar is concerned by the negative impact playing behind closed doors could have on the success of Wales' Six Nations title defence.

The champions’ first home game takes place against Scotland on 12 February but, under Covid restrictions imposed by the Welsh Government, only 50 spectators are permitted to view outdoor events.

The guidelines are reviewed weekly and First Minister Mark Drakeford has refused to give assurances that fans will be allowed to return in time for the Six Nations as case numbers for the Omicron variant continue to surge.

Wales are also scheduled to host France and Italy at the Principality Stadium in March and face the prospect of playing over half the competition on home soil with the tiniest of crowds.

Meanwhile, sporting events in England have escaped restrictions for the time being, so Wales’ visit to Twickenham on 26 February will unfold before a full house of 82,000.

Biggar insists unless the rules are eased, Wayne Pivac’s side will be surrendering the benefit of playing in Cardiff.

"It would be great if we could have fans, wouldn’t it? You see what a difference it makes to an occasion. You saw it in the autumn, getting crowds back," the Northampton and Lions playmaker said.

"Everyone coming to games now has to have a passport, they’ll be double or triple-jabbed and it’s an outdoor event, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t be allowed in. As long as it’s safe, that’s the most important thing.

"It would be a huge, huge step backwards if there are no crowds for clubs and the Six Nations, which is obviously such a show-piece event.

"We played a lot of games with no crowds and if you look at the first handful of them, they almost felt like training games.

"It felt like it did not really matter whether you won or lost because it felt like a training match and the intensity was knocked out of it. You lose any advantage of playing at home."