Limited fans may be let in for Quilter Cup


Twickenham Stadium back with fans - Sept. 2020 Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) revealed plans on Wednesday to facilitate the return of fans to Twickenham Stadium in England. The announcement that up to 20,000 could be allowed into Twickenham, give rugby fans reasons to cheer.

The Twickenham Stadium is a rugby union stadium in Twickenham, southwest London, England. Owned by the governing body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union, the stadium hosts home test matches for the England national rugby union team.

The England national rugby union team represents England in men’s international rugby union. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales.

The RFU informed that England will play its rescheduled match against the Barbarians in the Quilter Cup on October 25th, and tickets went on sale on Wednesday. The number of fans allowed into Twickenham for the fixture is based on social distancing requirements to ensure that fans stay safe from the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The above mentioned match was postponed in June due to the coronavirus menace.

The Quilter Cup is a rugby union trophy awarded to the winner of the annual test/non-test match between England and other home nations as well as Barbarians.

The Barbarians are an invitational rugby union team based in Britain. The Barbarians play in black and white hoops, though players wear the socks from their own club strip.

The whole match depends on obtaining the relevant license and approvals including those from the public health authorities. The RFU said spectator numbers will be up to 20,000, less than 25 percent of the stadium’s total 82,000 capacity. Attendees can only buy tickets seated together for people in a single household, including their support bubble.

The RFU said the Metropolitan Police is backing its plans, which will include a slew of safety measures. The RFU will employ above normal staffing levels for the crowd size in order to strictly ensure social distancing and safety measures, while face masks will be made compulsory for spectators except when in assigned seats or eating or drinking.

All tickets for the match will be in the digital mode and paper tickets are a strict ‘no, no’, with one way systems set up at Twickenham to streamline crowd movement and assigned entry gates to minimize the formation of serpentine queues.

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney noted, “We continue to work closely with the government and the local authority on the return of sports fans to the stadium. The numbers of fans able to attend, given social distancing requirements, will be significantly lower than normal and subject to final agreement from the Government. Local resident and spectator safety is our top priority and numerous measures are being implemented for the events that either adhere to or exceed the guidance provided by the Government and the Sports Ground Safety Authority.”

“A test event will be held to put into practice our operational plans and demonstrate that Twickenham Stadium is well prepared,” Sweeney added.

The rugby fans are keeping their fingers crossed to hear the piece of good news – that they can finally attend a game and be let back into Twickenham Stadium.

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