Police agree to increase in HQ's capacity

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The police were reluctantly persuaded yesterday to allow the Rugby Football Union to raise the cap on Twickenham's capacity from 37,500 to 50,000 for the intercode Bath v Wigan match on 25 May, writes Steve Bale. The ground would normally hold 75,000.

The cap had been imposed, to the fury of both clubs, because of engineering work on the Waterloo-Reading rail line which will close Twickenham station and therefore create safety problems. The situation is complicated by anticipated traffic congestion at a race meeting at nearby Kempton Park.

It needed an undertaking from Wigan to bring its supporters to London in the fleet of coaches usually used for their Wembley appearances before the police would acquiesce. Bath have undertaken to offer special coach rates to their supporters.

Having been cleared of one of his yellow cards, Garath Archer is free to make what may be his last appearance for Bristol when they play at Orrell on Saturday. The England lock's next disciplinary hearing - he still has two cards against him - will be in early May, so he is likely to be suspended when he revives his Newcastle career next season.

Bristol have also chosen the recent Wales outside-half, Arwel Thomas, who may be joining Swansea.