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Flocking through the turnstiles

John GriffithsApril 2, 2014
Saracens play in front of a world record attendance © Getty Images
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Do you have the top British/Irish attendance records for club games? And what's the biggest international crowd in the Four Home Unions? Ben Ross, England

The match at Wembley between Saracens and Harlequins set a new mark with a crowd of 83,889 - a world record for a sub-international match of any description.

The previous such record was 83,761, also at Wembley, for the corresponding match in April 2012. (A crowd rounded to 82,000 saw the same clubs play in the Premiership at Twickenham earlier the same season).

Before that, Leinster and Munster had set the high in their April 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final at Croke Park. There, 82,208 turned up to see Leinster win 25-6 on their way to the title. That figure remains the record for a Heineken Cup game.

The world record for an international match is 109,874 at Stadium Australia in Sydney for the Wallabies-All Blacks match in 2000. When the complex was opened in 1999 (ready for the staging of the 2000 Olympics), 107,042 saw the same two sides in action.

The record for an international in the Home Unions is 104,000 for the Scotland v Wales 1975 International Championship game at Murrayfield. Edinburgh matches were not all-ticket affairs in those days. Spectators could turn up at the turnstiles and pay for admission.

A huge Welsh contingent journeyed north that year and the temporary collapse of a perimeter fence soon after the gates opened enabled hundreds to gain admission free. As kick-off time approached, the police became so concerned about the size of the crowd on the old Murrayfield terraces that many late-arrivals were turned away. Some estimates put the crowd that day as high as 111,000.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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