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British & Irish Lions

Lions v Japan: Attendance number confirmed for clash at BT Murrayfield

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MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images

The curtain-raiser to the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series in South Africa will host the partial capacity crowd following consultation with the Scottish Government and the application of agreed social distancing criteria to ensure fans can attend safely. It will be the first time supporters will be able to attend the home of Scottish Rugby to watch an international match since March 2020.

Other public health agencies, emergency services and transport providers are collaborating to stage the landmark event.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to confirm today’s news,” said Lions managing director Ben Calveley.

“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.

“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.”

The game against the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-finalists will be shown live and exclusively on Channel 4 and broadcast on talkSPORT.

“This is an important first step to bring fans back to BT Murrayfield Stadium and a return to normality,” commented Scottish Rugby chief executive, Mark Dodson.

“Through the positive working relationship, we have developed with both Scottish Government and key local partners we are confident we will offer a safe environment for every supporter and look forward to playing our part in hosting this unique sporting occasion and welcoming rugby fans back to Edinburgh.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Scottish Rugby who has contributed to enabling a live crowd to enjoy this match at BT Murrayfield and have no doubt it will be a special day for all involved.”

The Scottish Government’s national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch said: “As a flagship event of international significance, this match has been carefully considered by the Scottish Government.

“The stadium capacity has been agreed, following public health advice, in principle by Ministers but will be kept under review, with all partners continuing to monitor the status of the pandemic in the run up to the match to ensure fans can attend safely. This is the same process used to set the capacity for the Euros at Hampden and for other internationally significant events during the summer.

“While all those in the stadium should of course enjoy the game, they should do so safely – the virus is still out there. Free, fast and regular testing for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms is available to everyone in Scotland – please take up that offer and do not attend if the result is positive or you have any symptoms whatsoever.

“Stick to your allocated arrival and departure time, follow physical distancing rules and wear a mask at all times, other than when you’re eating or drinking. By following these rules, you will help us beat this virus and ensure many more people can enjoy the thrill of live events in future.”

Owing to the reduced capacity following the application of agreed social distancing measures within the stadium, a number of ticketholders will, unfortunately, not be permitted to attend and will be refunded.

Tickets will be allocated in line with government advice and the ticketing terms and conditions. All ticket holders will be contacted by Friday 28 May to advise if they have been successful in gaining access to the event.

For more information on The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup please visit: https://www.lionsrugby.com/faqs/1888-cup-faqs/

Source – British & Irish Lions

British & Irish Lions

VODAFONE RELEASES STRIKING IMAGERY OF BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SHOWCASING RALLYING FAN MESSAGES FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

New images highlight important role of tech in connecting the players to the fans during 2021 Tour, the most connected yet

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Mads Perch for Vodafone

Vodafone, Lead Partner of the British and Irish Lions Tour to South Africa, has today released a series of powerful new images of ambassadors, Maro Itoje and first-time Lions Hamish Watson and Louis Rees-Zammit. The images see emotive and personal social media messages of support from Lions fans across the four nations projected onto each of the star rugby players.

Vodafone and the British and Irish Lions are brands united by a shared commitment to connect people to each other and the things they love. The new imagery is a powerful demonstration of how Vodafone is bringing fans closer to the 2021 Tour and the squad than ever before through its digital-first campaign.

The images have been released ahead the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup which takes place on Saturday 26 June at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.  The messages of encouragement from fans will help to motivate players as they gear up for the game against Japan and prepare to leave the UK for the Tour – letting them know that the four nations are behind them, despite fans being unable to travel to South Africa this Summer. 

The imagery shows how the power of the connectivity can bring players and fans together, which is more important than ever with no travelling fans.

Max Taylor, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said: “We are excited to be able to give Lions fans and players an opportunity to unite and connect ahead of the upcoming Tour.  This is more important now than it has ever been. We hope these messages will show the players that even though British & Irish Lions fans can’t be there, they’re still very much cheering them on”.

Maro Itoje said: “Fans are such an important part of any sport and one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reason why most of us play. With no fans there is an evident missing piece. It’s incredible seeing how much support we have as a team and it is a huge boost for the whole squad as we head to South Africa.”

Hamish Watson said: “We’ve all missed having fans there with us – they really do have the power to inspire us. So being able to receive these incredible fan messages has been a great boost. It has spurred me and the team on even more to do them proud. We love to the see the messages so please keep the support coming while we are on tour.”


Louis Rees-Zammit said: “It’s been a tough year not being able to connect with fans physically. So, we are grateful for the power of technology and social media that has allowed us to stay connected and motivate us for this upcoming tour. This is my first Lions Tour and the support so far has been overwhelming.”

Vodafone has named six official player ambassadors spanning all four nations for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa this Summer – Captain Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Hamish Watson (Scotland), Tadgh Furlong (Ireland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales) and Maro Itoje (England).  Other partnership ambassadors include Maggie Alphonsi, Emily Scarratt and ex Lions legends Sir Ian McGeechan, Sam Warburton, Jeremy Guscott and Paul O’Connell.

Maro Itoje, Hamish Watson and Louis Rees-Zammit are official Vodafone ambassadors for the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa. Vodafone is using the power of connectivity to bring fans closer to the Tour than ever before. Download the official Lions app, powered by Vodafone to start the experience now.

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British & Irish Lions

Another Lions star ruled out of Japan clash with injury

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The tighthead prop was due to start at BT Murrayfield Stadium for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup but was unable to train this morning and is replaced in the starting XV by Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland).

“It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he’s not quite one hundred percent,” said Lions head coach Warren Gatland,

“He’ll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a Test spot in South Africa, so it’s not worth the risk.”

Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) is added to the bench to complete the matchday 23.

On Wednesday the Lions were forced into another change, with Hamish Watson ruled out with concussion and replaced by Justin Tipuric in the backrow.

The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup will be shown live and exclusively on Channel 4 on Saturday 26 June (kick off 3pm).

THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS vs JAPAN – The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)

13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821

9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829

3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808

5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761

6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row #786

8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814

19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826

20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779

21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780

23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

Saturday 26 June 2021

BT Murrayfield Stadium

Kick-off: 3pm, live on channel 4

Source – British & Irish Lions

** EXCLUSIVE DAVID LLOYD OFFER FOR ULSTER RUGBY FANS **

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British & Irish Lions

Lions v Japan: Concussion rules out Scotland star

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MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) has been replaced by Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) in the starting line-up for this Saturday’s clash with Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup. 

The Scottish loose forward suffered a concussion in training yesterday and will begin the graduated return-to-play protocol.

The Lions take on Japan at 3pm, live on Channel 4 in the first game of their 2021 Tour.

THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS vs JAPAN – The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)

13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821

9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829

3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808

5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761

6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row #786

8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)

18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826

20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779

21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780

23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

Source – British & Irish Lions

** EXCLUSIVE DAVID LLOYD OFFER FOR ULSTER RUGBY FANS **

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