Rugby Union: Scots make do with Murrayfield

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The Independent Online
A SCOTTISH plan to maximise the attendance at next year's international against New Zealand by playing at Ibrox Stadium, while Murrayfield is being rebuilt, has been flatly rejected by Rangers Football Club.

So, instead of a missionary venture, which would have attracted 43,000 to the all-seater stadium in Glasgow, the Scottish Rugby Union will fall back on its own resources and play, as usual, at Murrayfield, whose crowd limit will by then - November 1993 - be 37,000. Tickets will never have been at such a premium.

Rangers cited their own Scottish League Premier Division programme, possible European commitments and the fact that Ibrox is now used for football internationals as reasons for turning down the SRU. It would have been the first time a Scottish rugby international had taken place in Glasgow since South Africa played at Hampden Park in 1906.

Murrayfield's capacity will shortly be up to 54,000 with the completion of the north and south stands but will be reduced again when the next phase of the pounds 36m redevelopment of the ground continues after this season with the new west stand. Ultimately, the ground will house 65,000 spectators.

The SRU was so concerned about the restricted accommodation for the All Blacks game that it even considered taking it to a large football stadium in the north of England, though the problems are similar in Leeds or Manchester to those at Ibrox. As it happens, the North (of England) are to play South Africa at Elland Road on 10 November and New Zealand at Old Trafford next year.

The Scots announced yesterday that Bob Munro, the former convenor of selectors, would be their selector for the 1993 Lions tour to New Zealand.

They have accepted an invitation to the Dubai Sevens in November and the Hong Kong Sevens in March as preparation for the World Sevens at Murrayfield next April.

Rugby's new era, page 32

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