Premiership Rugby deny segregation policy
April 19, 2012
The traditional season-opening London Double Header has long been a colourful occasion © Getty Images
Premiership Rugby have moved to play down reports that they are introducing segregation for the traditional season-opening London double header at Twickenham.
The two matches involving Harlequins, Saracens, London Irish and Wasps - should they succeed in avoiding relegation from the Aviva Premiership - will attract a crowd in the region of 75,000.
In confirming the September 1 event, Premiership Rugby stated: "For the first time this season each club will be given a specific area of the ground for its supporters".
Premiership Rugby say the intention was to ensure each club's season ticket holders can sit together. But it was interpreted by many supporters as the introduction of crowd segregation, an alien concept in rugby and it prompted an angry reaction.
Premiership Rugby were forced to issue a follow-up statement clarifying that supporters are encouraged to sit anywhere in the ground.
A spokesman for the Premiership clubs' umbrella body said: "There is absolutely no segregation at the London double header on September 1. Through Ticketmaster we have identified where club season ticket and friends and family allocations will be located, allowing fans to make their seat choices accordingly.
"We value the London double header, which brings together four teams and would encourage neutral fans to get behind a team for the day which makes for a great atmosphere within the stadium."
Should Wasps fail in their bid to avoid relegation, their place in the double header would be taken by another club. The Premiership fixtures will be confirmed in early July.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"There is a duty to ensure that every person who decides to participate in rugby has an understanding of the possible lasting effects of concussion." Rory Lamont tells his story
'They were generally big strong players, but they never struck me as clever players' - Huw Richards rewinds to 1888 when the New Zealand Natives toured Great Britain
There were some thrilling matches in the Heineken Cup this weekend, some dire games and a couple of pointless exercises. Monday Maul looks back at the talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with a topless Carlin Isles and scantily clad Waratahs players featuring