What Nicola Sturgeon announcement means for supporters at 1872 Cup Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors derbies

The 1872 Cup matches between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors look set to be played in front of supporters after all following the lifting of crowd restrictions at outdoor events in Scotland.

Both legs of the 1872 Cup were postponed due to Covid cases in the Glasgow Warriors squad. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Both legs of the inter-city double-header were postponed over the festive period due to a Covid outbreak in the Glasgow squad. Had they been played, they would have gone ahead in almost empty stadiums following the Scottish government’s decision last month to cap attendances at 500 in a bid to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that full crowds can return from January 17, giving the green light for both 1872 Cup games to open their doors to fans.

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No new dates have been announced as yet for the fixtures which are the most popular on the Scottish club rugby calendar.

Edinburgh are expecting an attendance of between 25,000 and 30,000 for the second leg at BT Murrayfield while the first leg at Scotstoun is a sell-out.

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Steve Lawrie, the Edinburgh forwards coach, welcomed the decision and said the 1872 Cup games were one of the reasons why he returned to pro team coaching.

“It would have been a crying shame if they had been played behind closed doors, given the buzz and anticipation,” said Lawrie

“Having been involved in them last year [when they were played in empty stadiums], there is not that same feel. So I hope we can get this Covid situation under control and we can have fans because the buzz is just massive.

“I think they are becoming iconic games. One of the reasons I got back into coaching professionally was to be involved in those games. I was sick of watching them in the pub and being jealous of the guys doing well.”

Edinburgh and Glasgow both played United Rugby Championship matches in empty grounds last weekend but will welcome back supporters for home European ties against Brive and La Rochelle on January 21 and 22 respectively.

“We’ve got Brive next weekend, so we can put in a wee call to arms for the crowds to come out and try and fill the DAM Health. So that’s exciting,” added Lawrie.

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