England’s likely Autumn Nations Cup final showdown against France could be played in front of 2,000 fans across Twickenham
- The government confirmed that fans will be allowed to enter the stadiums from December 2
- England is on track to play against France four days later in the Autumn Nations Cup final
- The relaxation of restrictions has created the possibility of a modest audience being present
- RFU is awaiting guidance on what level Richmond-upon-Thames will be placed on
England may be able to play in front of 2,000 fans across the huge stands in Twickenham on December 6 – subject to government clarification.
Eddie Jones’ side is on track to take on France in the Autumn Nations Cup final and the relaxation of lockdown restrictions opens the possibility of modest audiences attending the event.
However, the RFU is awaiting guidance on the level of Richmond-upon-Thames – the borough in which the national stadium is located – and is unlikely to be level 1.
England will be desperate to play for their fans again at Twickenham on December 6
If it is level 2, that would pave the way for 2,000 spectators to enter the 82,000-seat stadium, provided it is confirmed that people can use public transportation to move between levels.
The RFU is keen to welcome fans if feasible, but the union has to decide whether matchday costs for flight attendants and security personnel would be prohibitive for such small numbers.
There is no prospect of the game being moved to an alternate location in a Tier 1 zone. Twickenham will host the match no matter what.
The Autumn Nations Cup final on December 6 could be played in front of 2,000 fans
Meanwhile, Premiership clubs are waiting to find out what level their area will be on after the lockdown ends on December 2. They are desperate for crowds – amid mounting financial losses – but every club has a threshold of viability.
For example, it’s clear that Exeter, in an area with relatively low Covid rates, couldn’t justify the cost of bringing in 2,000 fans per game, but permission for 4,000 would ensure that no match day is lost.
The Devon club has consulted security experts, has drawn up plans and, if the government approves, they hope to have 4,000 spectators in Sandy Park for the visit to Glasgow in the Heineken European Champions Cup on December 13.