England

RFU pushes to have 20,000 fans permitted to attend October clash with Barbarians

Tickets for England’s match against the Barbarians next month have gone on sale with the RFU pushing the UK government to permit 20,000 spectators to attend Twickenham.

If granted, it would be the largest attended sporting event since the UK entered lockdown in March.

England welcome the Baa-Baas on Sunday, October 25, for a spectacle that will operate close to a quarter of Twickenham’s 82,223 capacity, with the RFU putting social-distancing measures in place to control crowd interactions.

These include making all tickets for the game digital, putting in place one-way systems to limit crowd movement within the stadium, and hygiene stations.

Waiting for health authorities to give the RFU the green light, chief executive Bill Sweeney said: “We continue to work closely with 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 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.’

“Fans wishing to buy tickets can only do so for themselves and others in their household.”

England head coach Eddie Jones added: “This game will be an important start to the autumn for us. We are excited to represent England. 

“We will train and prepare well and are looking forward to being back at Twickenham Stadium.”

Considerations for the authorities extend beyond what happens inside Twickenham Stadium and onto how fans will travel to the match, with Twickenham train station a cause for lengthy queues at most matches.

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