Seven Gallagher Premiership clubs will be able to accommodate upwards of 2,000 fans to their home matches next month while the Rugby Football Union is to donate 400 tickets to NHS workers as Twickenham prepares for the return of spectators when England play their final match of the Autumn Nations Cup.

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London’s tier two status means a crowd of 2,000 is permitted when Eddie Jones’ men contest what is expected to be the showpiece event of the tournament – most likely against France – on Sunday week.

Of those attending, half will have purchased their tickets as Twickenham hosts spectators for the first time since March 7 when Wales were beaten 33-30 in the Six Nations.

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England boss Eddie Jones sets the scene ahead of the trip to Wales

As regards the Gallagher Premiership, seven clubs will be able to begin entertaining home crowds of 2,000 fans after their areas were put into the post-lockdown tier two category. They are Worcester, Gloucester, Bath, Exeter, Harlequins, London Irish and Northampton.

Five clubs, though, will have to continue to play their games behind closed doors after their areas were grouped together in tier three, the highest level of restrictions. They are Bristol, Wasps, Newcastle, Sale and Leicester. A limited number of fans last attended Premiership matches in September at Harlequins and Gloucester but that pilot programme was then pulled.

Focusing on England, RFU CEO Bill Sweeney said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome 2,000 fans to Twickenham for the final Quilter International as part of the Autumn Nations Cup on December 6. This is an opportunity for us to operate a socially distanced event as a small step forward in our plans for the return of fans to stadia.

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“The team will be thrilled to have fans supporting them in person along with the thousands that will be watching on Amazon Prime. Twenty per cent of the seats for the game will be gifted to local NHS workers. The remaining will be for the players’ families, local rugby clubs, sponsors and around 1,000 seats will be on sale with prices starting from £75.”

England face Wales in Llanelli on Saturday and appear certain to finish on top of Group A of the Autumn Nations Cup with France having a similarly dominant grip on Group B.

  • Additional reporting PA
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