International Rugby Returns To Pittodrie
International rugby is returning to Aberdeen this autumn. Scottish Rugby announced this lunchtime that the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test between Scotland and Canada will be played at the 21,500 capacity Pittodrie Stadium, home of Aberdeen Football Club. The game will take place on Saturday 22 November with a 2.45pm kick-off and tickets will be on sale from tomorrow from£15 for adults and from£7.50 for under-18s.International rugby is returning to Aberdeen this autumn. Scottish Rugby announced this lunchtime that the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test between Scotland and Canada will be played at the 21,500 capacity Pittodrie Stadium, home of Aberdeen Football Club. The game will take place on Saturday 22 November with a 2.45pm kick-off and tickets will be on sale from tomorrow from£15 for adults and from£7.50 for under-18s. Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Gordon McKie said: Our first international in Aberdeen, when Scotland met the Barbarians three years ago, was a resounding success on and off the pitch. Now, thanks to our partnership work with Aberdeen Football Club, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council, I’m delighted to confirm that our concluding Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test this season will be staged at Pittodrie. The national team enjoys tremendous support from the people of Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland generally and it’s important that they have a chance to savour full-blooded international sport on their own doorstep. What also made this decision so attractive for us is the commitment from the local authorities, especially Aberdeen City Council, to work with us to ensure that this is about more than just one high profile event, for all that that event puts the city on the international sporting map. The Council, and its neighbour in Aberdeenshire Council, shares Scottish Rugby’s determination to increase opportunity for all to be involved in sport and Aberdeen City Council’s pledge to making improvements to rugby pitches in the city was a key factor in our decision to stage the match against Canada in Aberdeen, because better facilities make it easier for people to play the game. I’d also wish to thank Aberdeen Football Club for their support and enthusiasm for this fixture. Scotland made history on two counts three years ago – the first rugby international to be staged in Aberdeen and the first victory they enjoyed (38-7) over the star-studded invitation side, the Barbarians. Jason White, the 67-times-capped Scotland forward missed that game through injury but the Cults Academy former pupil, who first sampled rugby at the Aberdeen Wanderers club, is keen to be part of the occasion this time around. He said: No matter how many times you play for your country, it’s never something you take for granted. For me to play in the city where I spent so much of my childhood and where I was first introduced to the sport would be massive. Our supporters in the north-east are among the most passionate and loyal Scotland fans anywhere and it’s great that we’ll be playing on their patch this autumn. I hope we can pack Pittodrie to the rafters and give Canada a typically rousing Aberdeen welcome. Pete Young, Scottish Rugby’s Regional Development Manager for Grampian, hailed today’s news. He said: The buzz the Scotland match created in 2005 was still being felt a year later. Local clubs put in a power of work to make the sport attractive to children but having the added incentive of seeing high profile players on their doorstep was definitely a factor in sustaining a 10% increase in club playing membership year on year. Aberdeen FC’s Managing Director, Duncan Fraser, said: Everyone at Aberdeen Football Club is very excited at the prospect of what, as with the Barbarians game three years ago, will again demonstrate what can be achieved when all interested parties, including ourselves, work together with the common objective of what is beneficial to the local community. Time and time again in recent years, the north-east has shown that it is ideally situated to host top class events of all kinds and the visit of Canada is simply the latest of these. The atmosphere at the Barbarians game was something special and we expect the visit of Canada to be no different. Robert Stephen, the Lord Provost of the City of Aberdeen, said: Following the success of the 2005 rugby match between Scotland and the Barbarians, Aberdeen City Council is delighted to be working in partnership again with Scottish Rugby and Aberdeen Football Club, to bring the Scotland v Canada international match to the city. The event in Aberdeen is a focal point of a range of rugby development initiatives in the city, which demonstrates the council’s commitment to use the event to drive up participation in rugby at grassroots level. One of our key objectives will be to ensure a lasting legacy from the event including developing fit for purpose facilities and developing sustainable lifelong pathways for rugby participation and development within the city, including facilities, coach education and leadership courses for young people, and working with local clubs to increase the chance for all youngsters to play the sport. Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said: Aberdeenshire Council is proud to be supporting this event as it will provide an additional stimulus for rugby development both in the community and schools through the Active Schools programme, which to date has been extremely effective. The previous match three years ago boosted enthusiasm for both rugby and sport in general and we look forward to capitalising on this event to further increase participation and the development of opportunities in both rugby and sport in general. John Ritchie, Area Director in Aberdeen for Bank of Scotland Corporate, said: As main sponsors of the Autumn Test series we feel this is an excellent opportunity to bring international rugby once again to a wider audience in the north-east. Bank of Scotland is long established in Aberdeen and actively involved in the local community so we are delighted to be part of this initiative. Ticketing Information Tickets for the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test between Scotland and Canada at Pittodrie on Saturday 22 November are on sale from 9am tomorrow (Friday 16 May) at£15,£20 and£30 for adults and£7.50,£10 and£15 for under-18s. You can buy online at www.scottishrugby.org; via the credit card hotline 0131 346 5100 (booking fee applies) or in person from Scottish Rugby’s Ticket Centre at Murrayfield. Please note tickets will not be on sale on match day. Tickets are also on sale now for the other matches in the Autumn series which will both be played at Murrayfield: v New Zealand on Saturday 8 November, kick-off 5.15pm £20,£30 and£50 for adults;£10,£15 and£25 for under-18s); and v South Africa on Saturday 15 November, kick-off 2.30pm £20,£30 and£50 for adults;£10,£15 and£25 for students and under-18s). Opening hours for Scottish Rugby’s Ticket Centre are as follows: This week & next week: Monday to Friday 9am- 8pm, Saturday 10am-4pm w/c 26 May: Monday to Friday 9am-8pm Saturday 8.30am-7pm, Sunday 9.30am-6.30pm w/c 2 June: Revert to Monday to Friday 9am-5pm Rugby in North of Scotland There are 36 rugby clubs in the North of Scotland, 24 of which are in the North-East, including such clubs as Aberdeen University who won the Scottish Hydro Electric Plate at Murrayfield earlier this month and Gordonians, who were Scottish Rugby’s Club of the Month for March and who were champions of Scottish Hydro Electric Caledonia League Division 1 Canada Scotland will be looking to gain revenge when Canada come to Aberdeen. The last time the teams met at the Thunderbird Stadium, Vancouver, Canada won 26-23 in 2002.