Before the British & Irish Lions set off for their tour of South Africa, they will play a warm-up in front of a crowd of 16,500 at Murrayfield.
The Edinburgh stadium has a maximum capacity of just over 67,000, but unfortunately there won’t be that many fans allowed to attend. The Lions will host Japan before they jet off to South Africa at the end of June.
On 26 June at 15:00 BST, fans from all over the world will get to watch the Lions play for the first time since 2019. At Murrayfield, the Lions will step onto the pitch in front of fans and play a tough, physical Japan side that will definitely be an entertaining contest.
Yes, it’s an exciting time. Premier League fans in England have been able to attend the final two games of the season already – with limited capacity. On top of that, fans are scheduled to attend the Euros, with matches being played at Wembley Stadium and Hampden Park.
Japan’s visit will be played just four days after Hampden Park hosts 12,000 fans to watch Scotland’s final game of the group stage against Croatia. It’s clear from any of the recent fans that the atmosphere is much more exciting.
Lions managing director, Ben Calveley, is excited about the prospect of having fans back for the game. He said: “It will be brilliant to see a passionate crowd back at Murrayfield for what promises to be a superb game of rugby.
“We are grateful to the Scottish government for its commitment and support to ensure this fixture would be seen by a live audience”.
To reduce the risk of disruption to their tour, the Lions’ schedule has been altered slightly. Now, the Lions will still play the eight games, but will travel to three cities – rather than six in the original plan.
Warren Gatland’s men will kick off their tour of South Africa in Johannesburg, before travelling to Pretoria and Cape Town. Then, it will be back to Johannesburg for the final two tests against South Africa.
The 37-man squad, captained by Alun Wyn Jones, will form their bubbles in training camps in Johannesburg and Cape Town. From here, the Lions will play five games before the first test against the world champions in Cape Town.
June 26 – Japan (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)
July 3 – Emirates Lions (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
July 7 – Cell C Sharks (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
July 10 – Vodacom Bulls (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
July 14 – South Africa ‘A’ Team (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 17 – DHL Stormers (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 24 – First Test vs. South Africa (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
July 31 – Second Test vs. South Africa (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
August 7 – Third Test vs. South Africa (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
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