THE third and final 1872 Cup match of the coming season will be held at Scotstoun, not Murrayfield as Scottish Rugby had hoped.
The SRU’s plan was to stage the match as part of the ‘Silver Saturday’ day of domestic cup finals, as it was in April of this year. But that would have meant Edinburgh being at home for two of the three games against Glasgow for a second season in succession – a competitive advantage for the Murrayfield-based team, and another year’s imbalance between home and away games for the Warriors.
PRO14, who have yet to announce the full fixture list for the season ahead, are understood to have voiced no objection to the SRU’s plan. But mounting disquiet among Glasgow supporters, combined with confirmation that there will be an increased capacity at Scotstoun for the game, persuaded the governing body to change the schedule back to what would normally have been the case.
Warriors fans will therefore get to see their team take on their domestic rivals at home twice, while Edinburgh season tickets will also be valid for the game thanks to that greater capacity. Silver Saturday, meanwhile, will go ahead at Murrayfield as what it was before this year – a celebration of club rugby, with a number of finals in men’s and women’s competitions being held throughout the day. People who attend Silver Saturday will be able to stay and watch the 1872 Cup match on the stadium’s giant screens.
The announcement of Scotstoun as the venue for the last match was made by Scottish Rugby today [Monday] in typically low-key fashion under the heading “1872 Cup – season 2018/19 update”. It read:
“Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby will contest next season’s 1872 Cup over three rounds, with Scotstoun hosting the final match of the series. The festive double-header, over the 2018/19 Christmas and New Year period, will be played at BT Murrayfield and Scotstoun respectively.
“Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby have confirmed, in conjunction with Scottish Rugby, that the third leg of the 1872 Cup will be played at Scotstoun with an increased capacity. The decision has been taken following engagement with supporters and review of operational and logistical elements.
“The third leg match will be included in all Glasgow Warriors season-ticket memberships for the coming season. Season-ticket holders will have tickets to 11 Guinness PRO14 matches and three Heineken Champions Cup matches in 2018/19. The match will continue to form part of the Edinburgh Season Ticket Membership package.”
The original announcement that the third game would be held at Murrayfield was made on the SRU website on 1st June, with the governing body’s chief operating officer Dominic McKay explaining that the success of the event in April had led him and his colleagues to decide to repeat the operation. “I’d like to thank the fans who turned up in their thousands to help make our first ‘Silver Saturday’ at BT Murrayfield such a record-breaking success,” McKay said.
“The passion and enthusiasm were there from the first match through to the last, with Edinburgh securing the 1872 Cup with a thrilling win over Glasgow to conclude an unforgettable day of rugby. From the success of this season’s event we are very excited to confirm another ‘Silver Saturday’ for next season and I’m sure it will grow to be a significant date in the Scottish rugby calendar.”