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Holyrood talks successful

Murrayfield to host 16,500 fans for Lions warm-up

Fans will be back at Murrayfield next month (pic: SNS Group).

Murrayfield Stadium will welcome 16,500 fans for next month’s meeting between the British & Irish Lions and Japan.

The match on Saturday 26 June is a warm-up for the Lions before they head to South Africa and will be played in front of a partial capacity crowd following consultation with the Scottish Government and the application of agreed social distancing criteria to ensure fans can attend safely.

It will be the first time supporters will be able to attend the home of Scottish Rugby to watch an international match since March 2020.

The news comes after it emerged Holyrood rejected a proposal by Rangers for 10,000 fans to attend Ibrox on Saturday for their league title trophy presentation, Covid rules preventing mass gatherings at that stage. No supporters will be in attendance at this weekend’s Scottish Final at Hampden.

Other public health agencies, emergency services and transport providers are collaborating for the match at Murrayfield.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to confirm today’s news,” said Ben Calveley, managing director of the British & Irish Lions.

“It will be brilliant to see a passionate crowd back at Murrayfield for what promises to be a superb game of rugby before we embark on the tour to South Africa.

“We are very grateful to the Scottish Government for its commitment and support to ensure this fixture would be seen by a live audience.”

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said: “This is an important first step to bring fans back to BT Murrayfield Stadium and a return to normality.

“Through the positive working relationship we have developed with both Scottish Government and key local partners, we are confident we will offer a safe environment for every supporter and look forward to playing our part in hosting this unique sporting occasion and welcoming rugby fans back to Edinburgh.”

“This is the same process used to set the capacity for the Euros at Hampden and for other internationally significant events during the summer.” – Professor Jason Leitch, Scottish Government national clinical director.

The Scottish Government’s national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, said: “As a flagship event of international significance, this match has been carefully considered by the Scottish Government.

“The stadium capacity has been agreed, following public health advice, in principle by ministers but will be kept under review, with all partners continuing to monitor the status of the pandemic in the run up to the match to ensure fans can attend safely.

“This is the same process used to set the capacity for the Euros at Hampden and for other internationally significant events during the summer.”

Given the reduced capacity, a number of ticket holders will not be permitted to attend and will be refunded.

Tickets will be allocated in line with government advice and the ticketing terms and conditions. All ticket holders will be contacted by Friday 28 May to advise if they have been successful in gaining access.

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