Leeds Rhinos have capped the capacity for Headingley Stadium to 9,999 for their Boxing Day friendly against Wakefield Trinity to avoid fans requiring Covid passes.
Earlier this week, new measures were brought into force that required proof of vaccination or a negative test for adult supporters attending a sports ground with 10,000 or more fans present, or 4,000 and above for standing venues.
As a result, Leeds have followed the example of several football clubs in capping the capacity of their grounds under that mark.
For the Wetherby Whaler festive clash, the Rhinos say their seated capacity will not exceed 6,000 and their standing capacity will not exceed 3,999.
This means that, under the current rules, a Covid pass will not need to be checked for fans to gain entry for the match, although the club have still recommended that supporters take a lateral flow test before attending, and that they wear masks when moving around the ground in close proximity to others.
Leeds say that they have already sold around 6,500 tickets for the pre-season match, for which new signings Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer and James Bentley are all set to make their debuts. The game will also now be broadcast on the OurLeague app.
“Our first priority is always the safety of our spectators, players and staff,” said Sue Ward, the Rhinos’ operations director.
“I would like to thank our local authorities here in Leeds who we have been working with since the new Government legislation came into place so together we can find a solution that ensures Headingley remains a safe venue for our spectators to come and visit.
“Here at the Rhinos, we encourage all our fans to follow the advice to get their booster and take steps to stay as safe as possible over the coming weeks.
“As an outdoor venue, we are looking forward to welcoming supporters back to the stadium for some fresh air on Boxing Day and will be doing everything possible to make sure they can enjoy their morning at the rugby together with their loved ones.”