Thousands of fans confirmed for B&I Lions-Japan clash

The British & Irish Lions have confirmed the 1888 Cup match against Japan at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, 26 June will welcome a crowd of 16,500 supporters.

The curtain-raiser to the 2021 B&I Lions series in South Africa will host the 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.

Other public-health agencies, emergency services and transport providers are collaborating to stage the landmark event.

‘We’re absolutely delighted to be able to confirm today’s news,’ said Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

‘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.

‘I am sure it will give the entire touring party an enormous boost to play this fixture in front of Lions fans. We are very grateful to the Scottish government for its commitment and support to ensure this fixture would be seen by a live audience.’

View the full Lions 2021 schedule including Castle Lager Lions Series

Meet the 2021 Lions squad

‘This is an important first step to bring fans back to BT Murrayfield Stadium and a return to normality,’ commented Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson.

‘Through the positive working relationship we have developed with both the 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.

‘I’d like to thank everyone at Scottish Rugby who has contributed to enabling a live crowd to enjoy this match at BT Murrayfield and have no doubt it will be a special day for all involved.’

Owing to the reduced capacity following the application of agreed social-distancing measures within the stadium, a number of ticketholders will, unfortunately, not be permitted to attend and will be refunded.

Tickets will be allocated in line with government advice and the ticketing terms and conditions.

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Craig Lewis