MURRAYFIELD is close to another sell-out as new supporters buy into the prospect of Scotland repeating their trick of 2010 and bouncing back from an All Black drubbing by beating South Africa – with the backing this time of the Armed Forces.
Just over 4,000 tickets remain for tomorrow’s EMC Autumn Test and, even if they do not all sell before kick-off, the SRU have already reported a record combined crowd for two November games on the back of last week’s sell-out. Statistical analysis has also shown Scottish rugby to be attracting new supporters, specifically females.
Dominic McKay, the Union’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, told The Scotsman: “The combined total is more than we’ve had for autumn games, and we are just 1,000 short of the 18,000 capacity at Pittodrie for the final EMC match against Tonga.
“There was a significant number of people at Murrayfield on Sunday who had previously never purchased tickets for an international. We also had a higher mix of female supporters in the crowd than before, and a higher number of schools and teenage groups who came independently of rugby clubs. That is significant in our push to grow rugby.”
Among the Murrayfield crowd last week was Scottish actor Gerard Butler, who found himself besieged by All Black players requesting his autograph at the after-match function. Tomorrow, Olympic gold medal-winning rower Heather Stanning will fire the pre-match artillery gun and then take the match ball out.
Stanning is a captain in the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery and her involvement marks the special designation of this game as an Armed Forces EMC Test, which will also see an RAF combat Typhoon fly over the stadium before kick-off and various forces demonstrations around the ground from noon.