No more than 30,000 at Murrayfield as closed door tests a possibility

Murrayfield

Speaking to the media, SRU CEO Mark Dodson has highlighted the provisions in place for the autumn tests, how full Murrayfield can be and when Scottish players can return to action.

Robert Rees brings you the latest from the SRU camp.

Player returns

“From June 22, we’ve invited the players back to Murrayfield, subject to certain restrictions being lifted on June 18 so we can enter stage two. Those will be voluntary fitness sessions and making sure they’re fit for the resumption of contact rugby.”

Autumn tests need to go ahead

“The autumn tests are crucial to us. Social distancing has a significant impact on how many tickets we can sell, how many can come through the door. The more that is relaxed, the more we can earn.

“Where we stand at the moment is that those tests will be behind closed doors until we’re told differently by the government. We’re hopeful that we will be able to play with crowds, but we’re not convinced [we will] and have planned for the worst case scenario.”

The RFU have stated they would not be able to host more than 40,000 people and as low as 9,000.

Discussing the limitations of Murrayfield Dodson said, “The two metre ruling makes it very difficult to get more than 10,000 in, but the closer you get you could get up to 30,000 in the stadium.

“Until we get to know who the opposition will be and where the seats will be etc it’ll be difficult how much it’ll be worth to us.”

Finishing 2020 Six Nations…

“I’m very hopefully that we’ll be able to finish this year’s Six Nations in the autumn. We also hope that we can have crowds at next year’s Six Nations and have as normal a tournament as we can.

Murrayfield
The Principality Stadium is currently a field hospital, and is host to the remaining game for both Wales and Scotland in this year’s Six Nations, credit to @Rreesrugby.

Summer rugby…

“I’m more encouraged than I’ve ever have been around the optimism of a global calendar. We think it’s good for participation at a grass roots level and the most important is that is releases revenue opportunities, but works for everybody.

“We could have more jeopardy, by making the autumn series more attractive.”

“People are looking to develop emerging nations and we’ve worked hard with SANZAAR (governing body of the Rugby Championship).

No immediate rush for home and away Six Nations

“We’re looking at the easiest option to develop, which is probably to play against home nations due to their proximity. That’s one of the scenarios under consideration at the moment.

“It won’t be a Six Nations tournament, but it’ll be based around some kind of competition with the home nations.”

Pro14 clashing with autumn tests

With so many tests piling up for the end of the year and only three international windows to play them in there is bound to be a clash with the domestic season.

Explaining whether there’ll be limited player availability Dodson said, “It’s really incumbent on us all to have discussions on what’s possible and what is best for the game. We’re going to work with this as there is going to be compromise for everybody.”

 

“Main photo credit”


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