Edinburgh Rugby consider moving 1872 Cup clash v Glasgow Warriors

Edinburgh Rugby are considering moving their 1872 Cup match against Glasgow Warriors to the DAM Health Stadium following the announcement by the Scottish Government that live outdoor events will be restricted to 500 spectators from Boxing Day onwards.

Edinburgh Rugby are unbeaten in competitive games at the DAM Health Stadium this season.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Edinburgh Rugby are unbeaten in competitive games at the DAM Health Stadium this season. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The capital side were due to face their inter-city rivals in the second leg of the festive clash at BT Murrayfield on January 2.

Around 25,000 were expected to attend but the match will now be “spectator free”.

The first leg of the 1872 Cup takes place at Scotstoun on December 27 and Glasgow Warriors are also unlikely to admit spectators. Both clubs feel it is not financially viable to admit such a small number given the cost of stewarding and other associated match-day expenses.

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair is weighing up switching the 1872 Cup match. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

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Edinburgh moved to the DAM Health Stadium at the start of the season and are unbeaten in competitive games at their new home which has a capacity of 7,800. The match against Glasgow was scheduled for Murrayfield because the festive fixture always attracts a large crowd but Mike Blair, the Edinburgh head coach, says the club will now consider switching the game to their more compact regular ground.

“It’s something we’re talking about,” he said. “BT Murrayfield, we had 25,000-odd tickets sold for that. But now these discussions are ongoing. It’s something we’ll potentially look into.

“I’m not 100 percent sure of what’s been booked and what we can change. We’ll have discussion with our players and the coaches in terms of what potentially be done.

“The guys have really enjoyed playing at the DAM Health. It might not be something we can do due to admin or bookings or whatever but we’ll have some discussions about it.”

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Glasgow Warriors coach Danny Wilson has sympathy for the fans. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

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Both sides go into the game in fine form having recorded impressive victories over top-class English opposition, with Edinburgh defeating Saracens away in the European Challenge Cup and Glasgow beating Exeter Chiefs at home in the elite Heineken Champions Cup. While downcast, Blair said he understood the decision on spectators.

“Cases are on the rise,” said the coach. “I’m no medic, but our doctor is telling us about the concerns he’s got, we’re reading about it in the papers and hearing it from Nicola Sturgeon – so we disappointed because we love playing in front of a crowd, but at the same time we understand the situation so that’s just where we are at the moment.”

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Danny Wilson, the Glasgow coach, said: “We’re disappointed but we understand it’s the world we live in just now. It changes week to week.

“Massive sympathy for supporters especially after the big win on the weekend. I understand it’s frustrating for them as it is for us, but with the Covid situation as it is I suppose it was inevitable something would happen.”

Rescheduling the matches for when spectators would be able to attend has been ruled out because of the lack of free dates in the rugby calendar.

Both clubs said they would contact supporters regarding ticketing.

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A statement from Edinburgh said: “Following today’s Scottish Government announcement, Edinburgh Rugby’s 1872 Cup derby in January will regrettably be spectator free.

“The club will contact all season ticket members and ticket purchasers in due course with a further update.”

Glasgow Warriors said: “Following the Scottish Government's latest announcement, Glasgow Warriors’ upcoming fixture against Edinburgh (on Monday 27 December) will be played to all intents and purposes spectator-free.

“Members and ticket purchasers will be contacted in due course.”

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