On many occasions, Rugby has tried to avoid replicating Football traditions, but there are now calls to bring the classic football ‘away end’ into rugby stadiums.
Many fans have been calling for away ends for quite some time, suggesting that it would improve the atmosphere of grounds and give supporters a better game-day experience.
Harlequins supporters in particular have argued for a designated area for away fans . Supporters of the London based side have always booked tickets as close to each other as possible, sparked by their experience in the 2020 Premiership semi-final against Bristol.
Due to Covid regulations, 500 Harlequins fans were all sat in one section in Ashton gate, and the atmosphere generated was remarkable; dubbing the lucky men and women there that day, ‘The Bristol 500’.
Quins kept their away support tradition alive this weekend when over 600 of them travelled to Paris to watch their side take on Racing 92. Once again they were all sat in the same two blocks, which made for an electric atmosphere and noise very rarely created by away rugby fans.
Their support could be clearly heard by those watching on TV and players has sparked players themselves to call for the away end be made universal in rugby stadiums.
With that being said, a large portion of fans believe one of the best parts of rugby is the fact that you can sit amongst rival fans at games without an animosity, and have great banter with them all.
It can easily be argued that the mixing of fans at games is actually a huge benefit and it should be kept that way.
😍 Just sit back and watch!
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) January 16, 2023
Rugby stadiums NEED a designated away fan area that stays the same year on year. It’s impossible to create this level of atmosphere without it. Atmosphere = higher attendances/crazier games/better quality rugby. We can’t continue to hold the game back any longer https://t.co/sHoEeSsOuw
— Will Evans (@Will_Evans69) January 16, 2023
A high number of current players has supported Evan’s claims, with Louis Rees-Zammit tweeting ‘Couldn’t agree more’.
So, is time for the away end in rugby???