Murrayfield to welcome 16,500 fans for Lions clash with Japan

BT Murrayfield Stadium The Lions will face Japan at BT Murrayfield next month (Jane Barlow/PA)

A crowd of 16,500 will watch the British and Irish Lions’ match against Japan at BT Murrayfield on June 26.

The prelude to the summer tour to South Africa will take place with social distancing measures restricting the number able to attend the 67,144-capacity home of Scottish rugby.

It is likely to be the only occasion when the Lions play in front of fans, with SA Rugby planning for all eight fixtures, including the Test series against the world champions, to take place behind closed doors.

“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,” Lions managing director Ben Calveley said.

“I’m 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.”

It will be the first time fans have been allowed into Murrayfield for an international match since Scotland’s 28-17 victory over France in March last year.

With the size of the crowd smaller than the number of tickets sold, a number of refunds will be issued by May 28, with Government advice deciding who is able to attend the historic showdown with the 2019 World Cup hosts.

It has yet to be decided whether the match will be given Test status, resulting in caps being awarded.

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