ugby union in the capital has cautiously “welcomed” the news that fans will be allowed to return after lockdown, but is nervously waiting to hear which tier London will be placed in on Thursday.
Both England and London Irish play home games on December 6, the first weekend after lockdown lifts.
England are likely to face France on the final weekend of the Autumn Nations Cup. The RFU are scoping the operating cost of welcoming such a small number of fans to Twickenham, where the capacity is 82,000. Reports suggest NHS workers could be invited to attend the game.
London Irish move into their new home, the Brentford Community Stadium, this Sunday, and face Sale there a week later – and would aim to welcome fans.
“It’s really welcome news for all clubs, including ourselves, as we embark on an exciting new chapter at the Brentford Community Stadium,” said Brian Facer, Irish’s chief executive.
“Sport without fans is nothing and even if we can get a small percentage of our supporters – who have been incredibly understanding, patient and supportive during the pandemic – into the stadium over the coming weeks and months, that will be a great boost for the club and our loyal fan base.
“We’ve been liaising with our colleagues at Brentford for some time in preparation for this news and once we receive official confirmation of what the tiering system looks like for the borough of Hounslow, we’ll be in a far better position to make some informed decisions.
“It goes without saying that we’re looking forward to welcoming our supporters to our new home at Brentford in our first season back in the capital for over 20 years.”