SCARLETS' Chief Operating Officer Phil Morgan voiced his disappointment at the Welsh Government's announcement that sporting events in Wales will be held behind closed doors.

It means the club's keenly-anticipated United Rugby Championship derbies against Ospreys on New Year’s Day and Dragons on January 8 will be played without fans in the stadium.

In a move aimed at controlling the spread of the new omicron variant of Covid-19, the Welsh Government announced at midnight on Monday that the rule would introduced on Boxing Day.

Scarlets Chief Operating Officer Phil Morgan said it would be another "significant financial blow," and the club hoped to welcome back supporters to Parc y Scarlets as soon as possible.

“This is hugely disappointing for us all – players, staff, supporters and commercial partners, who have shown incredible loyalty to us over the last 18 months," he said.

"The festive derbies, particularly our home game against the Ospreys, are always fantastic occasions and we were expecting two of our biggest crowds of the season for the Ospreys and Dragons games.

"While this news will be another significant financial blow to the business, the health and safety of the Scarlets community will always be our utmost priority.

“We will continue to work closely with the Welsh Government and hopefully, when it is safe to do so, we can soon welcome our fans back into Parc y Scarlets.”

All season ticket holders will receive a pro-rata credit to their account for both matches, while match-ticket purchasers will receive an automatic refund.

Supporters will not need to contact the Scarlets ticket office. Refunds should appear in your bank account within five working days.

Scarlets' Boxing Day match with Cardiff Rugby at Cardiff Arms Park will also be played behind closed doors which means coach travel to the match has been cancelled.

For those who have booked official travel via the Scarlets, all purchases will be automatically refunded in the next five working days.

Scarlets’ Heineken Champions Cup match against Bordeaux-Begles, scheduled to be played at Parc y Scarlets last Sunday, was postponed.

This was a consequence of new travel measures between the UK and France, which are being introduced by the French Government.

Meanwhile Ospreys’ home United Rugby Championship clash with the Dragons scheduled for Boxing Day was postponed due to coronavirus cases in their squad on Monday.

The region said 18 members of staff had returned positive results from testing on Thursday and Friday.

The United Rugby Championship is to consider available dates to reschedule the fixture.

The Ospreys had already seen Covid-19 cases in their camp lead to Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup match at Racing 92 being cancelled, with the French outfit awarded a 28-0 win.