Rugby ‘pilot scheme’ could see fans at Edinburgh v Glasgow

SRU hopes to lead way in return of supporters

Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors are due to meet at BT Murrayfield on 22 August. Picture: Gary Hutchison / SNS

The Scottish Rugby Union is hopeful that an as yet undetermined number of fans could attend BT Murrayfield when professional rugby resumes on 22 August.

As Scotland moves into phase 3 of its lockdown exit strategy, the SRU is in talks with the Scottish Government over the prospect of making the Edinburgh v Glasgow match next month a “pilot” event which could see a limited number of supporters in the 67,000-capacity arena.

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An SRU spokesperson said the potential number of fans is one of the main topics being discussed with authorities. Last month SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said the difference between a one and two-metre social distancing rule could be the difference between a 10,000 and 30,000 crowd.

However, it is likely that initially numbers would be well below that if given the go-ahead, with knock-on effects such as the numbers of matchday staff required. Scottish top-flight football returns on 1 August but games will be behind closed doors for the time being.

The SRU is hopeful it can implement the necessary measures around social distancing, hygiene and safety, to gain approval for some fans to attend.

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