Fans flock to Six Nations
Hat-trick for Murrayfield; Strauss on move
The form of Scotland’s resurgent rugby team has captured the public’s imagination with Vern Cotter’s side to play in front of a full house against Italy for the first time at BT Murrayfield later this month.
The fixture on Saturday, 18 March (kick-off 12.30pm) is the final match of the 2017 RBS Six Nations and marks Kiwi Cotter’s final game in the tournament before his move to Montpellier in the summer.
It is the first time the visit of the Italians has sold out in Edinburgh since they joined the competition in 2000. The previous largest crowd when Italy have played in Scotland was two years ago when 62,188 fans descended on BT Murrayfield.
The home supporters will be hoping to roar the Scots on to a famous title triumph, with the team sitting in third place just four points behind leaders England, whom they face at Twickenham on Saturday, 11 March.
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer Dominic McKay said: “I’m delighted to announce this commercial first for Scottish Rugby, following the national team’s impressive win against Wales on Saturday.
“It’s clear their performances and exciting brand of rugby are connecting with the public, with their hard work and attacking mentality recognised once again with record-breaking support.”
The sell-out crowd will also complete an impressive double as all three home matches for Scotland – versus Ireland, Wales and now Italy – in the 2017 RBS Six Nations have sold out to fill the 67,144 seater stadium.
In excess of 200,000 tickets have been sold for the 2017 edition of the tournament in Edinburgh, generating significant financial benefits for both rugby in Scotland, and the wider Scottish economy.
“We have worked incredibly hard to engage and develop a real connection with our fans over recent seasons and to sell-out all three RBS Six Nations matches at BT Murrayfield for the first time is a fantastic achievement,” added McKay.
“The innovative ticket offers we have put in place, great value pricing and the increasing support for the Scotland team have all combined to allow us to welcome our highest ever number of fans to see Scotland play in the RBS Six Nations.”
Strauss on the move
Glasgow Warriors and Scotland back-row Josh Strauss is moving to Manchester at the end of the season to join Sale Sharks.
Warriors have not offered the South Africa-born player, 30, a new contract when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Strauss, who has 10 international caps, is expected to sign a three-year deal with Premiership side Sale. He is currently recovering from a kidney injury suffered during the defeat to France in the Six Nations match in Paris.
He qualified to represent Scotland after completing three years of residence and joined Glasgow Warriors in 2012.
He has made 104 appearances for the club, helping them win the 2015 Pro12 title – the club’s first silverware.
Fly-half Rory Clegg has left Glasgow Warriors for English Championship side Ealing Trailfinders.
The 27-year-old has brought his second spell at Scotstoun to a close, having made 16 appearances and scoring 95 points.