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Premiership Rugby statement: How tribute will be paid to the Queen

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Premiership Rugby have issued a statement explaining how tribute will be paid this weekend to the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following her death on Thursday. English league officials decided on Friday following a lengthy negotiation that all six matches in the Gallagher Premiership round one would still be played despite other sports such as football deciding to postpone all its matches.

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Instead of having a blank weekend at the start of the 2022/23 rugby season, it was decided to reschedule the two planned Friday night matches, Bristol versus Bath at Ashton Gate and Sale versus Northampton, to 5pm Saturday and 3pm Sunday and stick with the original plan for the Saturday matches at London Irish, Exeter and Newcastle and the Sunday game at Gloucester.

With the games all going ahead, Premiership Rugby will now allow for big-screen messages, a minute’s silence and the playing of the national anthem, the wearing of black armbands, and flying flags at half-mast as its way of paying tribute to the long-serving Queen Elizabeth II.

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A statement issued shortly before the 3pm Saturday kick-offs read: “Premiership Rugby is united in paying tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her inspirational life of service and her unparalleled contribution to the United Kingdom.

“We join other sports in resuming Premiership Rugby today [Saturday] including the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the men’s Test match between England and South Africa at the Oval and the women’s IT20 match between England and India in County Durham, Super League, and the Great North Run.

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“The decision to restart Premiership Rugby on Saturday has been taken in accordance with official national mourning guidance and in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). Premiership Rugby and our clubs are joining with supporters in recognising Queen Elizabeth’s life and service.

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“There will be a comprehensive programme of events at all our games this weekend which includes:

  • The big screens and LED screens will be carrying commemorative messaging from gates opening until kick-off;
  • Prior to kick-off, there will be a minute’s silence followed by the National Anthem (start and finish on the match officials’ whistle);
  • All players and coaches will be invited to wear black armbands;
  • All fixed flags to be positioned at half-mast.”

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