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British and Irish Lions to face Japan in front of 16,500 fans

The British and Irish Lions will play Japan in front of up to 16,500 fans at Murrayfield Stadium on the 26th of June.

The Lions will play on home soil for the first time since 2005 when they take on the Japanese in Edinburgh, before they embark on their tour of South Africa.

The game will take place at 3pm and will be shown live on free-to-air television through Channel 4, and will mark the first time since March 2020 that Murrayfield will have welcomed supporters.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to confirm today’s news. 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 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.”


No crowds confirmed for Lions games in South Africa.

The game against Japan may be the only time the Lions play in front of a live crowd this summer, as the matches that will take place in South Africa are currently due to take place behind closed doors.

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux announced last week that the original schedule of the tour has been changed, and admitted that it is unlikely that fans will be allowed to attend any matches.

“We’re delighted to be able to finally confirm the revised schedule after months of scenario planning and shifting circumstances,” Roux said.

“It has been a challenging process with dozens of variables to consider but we believe we have arrived at a schedule that minimises the risks associated with the pandemic.

“We are hopeful that restrictions on attendance at sports events will be relaxed but, for the moment, we are planning for an event behind closed doors.

“If that requirement changes, then we’ll assess the options available and make the necessary decisions based on the restrictions in place.”


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