The IRFU has announced that they are planning to welcome supporters back to the Aviva Stadium for two international fixtures in July.
In a statement issued this afternoon, the IRFU said that is is 'pleased to play its part in the government’s outdoor pilot sporting event programme by staging two international fixtures at the Aviva Stadium; v Japan (Saturday, July 3rd) and USA (Saturday, July 10th).'
The statement added that 'capacity at the Aviva for the Vodafone Summer Series will be limited to up to 3,000 (5.8% capacity) supporters for the game against Japan on the 3rd July and 6,000 (12% capacity) supporters for the USA fixture on the 10thJuly.'
The matches will be the first occasions that supporters will attend matches at the Aviva Stadium since since the Six Nations game against Wales in February last year. The IRFU have also stated that 'in recognition of their contribution to society the IRFU will allocate 300 tickets for the Japan Game to front line workers, while all clubs will be represented by club Presidents, who will be invited guests of IRFU President, Des Kavanagh.'
Philip Browne, IRFU Chief Executive, commented, “Firstly I would like to thank the government for their approval of these two international rugby fixtures as pilot events. It has been a long time since the Ireland team have played in front of live, albeit limited support, at the Aviva Stadium.
"These games are initial positive steps on the journey back to hopefully full stadia across the Island. The numbers are small, but I am sure spectators will make themselves heard in cheering on the team. We look to deliver two successful safe events, as our part in the government approved sporting and cultural pilots in the months ahead.
"We hope that this programme, if successful will put us all in a strong position to welcome back larger numbers of fans to the Aviva Stadium in the Autumn when we will have three international rugby fixtures including games against New Zealand and Argentina.”
More information can be found here.