Murrayfield rugby pilot game 'felt completely safe' - Jason Leitch

National clinical director ‘really pleased’ with first fixture with fans since lockdown

Jason Leitch, right, at Murrayfield last night with Scottish Rugby chief operating officer Dominic McKay. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS Group.

The first rugby game in the UK attended by supporters for five months went off “without an obvious” hitch, national clinical director Jason Leitch said today.

Professor Leitch, who attended the Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors clash at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, expressed satisfaction with the way the event had been run including transport to and from the stadium.

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The 700 fans who attended the game, which Glasgow won 15-3, had to wear face coverings, stay in family groups and use hand sanitiser as they arrived.

The 700 fans were seated in household groups and distanced from others. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS Group/SRU.

Around 300 support staff were also involved.

Supporters were told to avoid touching the turnstiles and to turn their backs as they passed others within the stadium.

However, the number allowed in was a fraction of the 25,000-30,000 normally expected at an Edinburgh-Glasgow derby match.

Prof Leitch told Off the Ball on BBC Radio Scotland: "It was excellent.

Transport worry

"It went off without an obvious hitch.

“It felt completely safe and everyone did their jobs really, really well.

"We had a big debrief after it.

"We heard from the transport people, the hospitality people – everybody around the ground – because that’s what we were actually slightly more worried about than in the ground itself, and everything went really well.

"People arrived safely. They left safely. The trams worked well.

"So, all in all, we were really pleased.”

Prof Leitch said such pilots would involve small crowds initially and gradually increase towards normal levels.

He said it would be up to each stadium to prove it was safe.

‘Safe and comfortable’

Scottish Rugby said there would be further debrief meetings next week with a view to increasing capacity at future games.

A spokesperson said: “People felt safe and comfortable.

"They were very pleased to watch live rugby for the first time since March.

"Entry and exit from the stadium went smoothly.”

Scottish Rugby chief operating officer Dominic McKay thanked those who attended “for their contribution to making it such a success.

“We were very proud to host fans back at BT Murrayfield again.”

New measures

Edinburgh Trams said few fans had travelled to the match by tram but it had used the event to try out new measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Dean Anderson, its customer experience manager. said: “We experienced very low numbers of customers using the tram system.

"However, it was the perfect opportunity for us to test new measures we have in place to help with social distancing after the match.

"We look forward to working with Scottish Rugby on supporting them with future events.”

Murrayfield is served by a stop opposite the south side of the stadium on Edinburgh’s tram line, which runs between Edinburgh Airport and York Place at the east end of the city centre.

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