Gerry Thornley: Ireland need to get in line and open turnstiles for Six Nations

A decision to gradually increase capacities would not be in step with other nations

Attendance was restricted to 6,000 for Ireland’s Test against the USA at Aviva Stadium last summer. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Attendance was restricted to 6,000 for Ireland’s Test against the USA at Aviva Stadium last summer. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

One of the biggest problems with the notion of a globally aligned rugby season is that the Six Nations might be moved from its slot early in the calendar year. No sport should ever be hostage to history but rugby messes with that tradition at its peril. Mid-winter, hip flasks, sheepskin coats and all that.

It’s always a timely lift for the spirits and after this January, whether dry or not, rarely has the onset of the sport’s oldest international tournament on the first weekend of February appeared more potentially uplifting.

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