1 April Covid-19 update: Professional sports events in Scotland remain behind closed doors due to national lockdown restrictions, where not already postponed or cancelled. See below for the latest spectator news, including any rescheduled dates.
RUGBY UNION (M). PRO 14 ~ 2 April onwards ~ Murrayfield & Scotstoun Stadium ALL MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors are the Scottish representatives in the Guinness Pro14 featuring 12 top club sides from Ireland, Italy, Wales and Scotland. This month attention turns to the European Champions Cup for Edinburgh who start the month with a daunting trip to Paris to play the classy Racing 92 side, before welcoming Zebre to Murrayfield on 24 April in the Rainbow Cup. Meanwhile Glasgow Warriors are in European Challenge Cup action and travel to Montpellier for a last 16 showdown on 2 April ahead of a Rainbow Cup meeting with Benetton at the end of the month. Edinburgh and Glasgow will both be desperate to maintain their form with a Scottish Cup double-header due to round off their respective seasons in May | Tickets not available games behind closed doors. All Guinness Pro14 matches are televised live on Premier Sports.
🏀 BASKETBALL (W). WOMEN’S BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE ~ 3 April onwards ~ The Crags Centre ALL MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) 2020/2021 season, featuring the top 11 women’s clubs sides in the UK, continues this month. Scotland’s representatives Caledonia Pride – having suffered a number of postponements due to Covid-19 – finally got their season underway in January losing out 91-61 to title favourites Leicester Riders before bouncing back impressively with a 78-60 road win at Durham Palatinates. February and March were challenging for the Edinburgh side and with matches coming thick and fast this month Pride will look to improve on their record of two wins and 11 losses and close the gap on the teams immediately above them. Manchester Met Mystics, London Lions, Cardiff Met Archers and Sevenoaks Suns are the visitors to The Crags Centre on 3, 7, 17 and 28 April respectively | Tickets not available matches behind closed doors. See the Caledonia Pride Twitter feed for details on how to stream matches.
(M) SPFL PREMIERSHIP & CHAMPIONSHIP ~ 3 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES IN THE PREMIERSHIP AND CHAMPIONSHIP ONGOING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The 2020/2021 Premiership season has turned into the finishing straight with Rangers already confirmed as title winners for the first time since 2011. Old Firm rivals Celtic look set to finish in second place, Hibernian and Aberdeen are the favourites to secure a European spot, while just two points separates Hamilton Academical, Kilmarnock and Ross County at the bottom of the table. Hearts are the pacesetters in the SPFL Championship with a cluster of teams behind them – including Raith Rovers, Dundee, Dunfermline, Inverness CT and Queen of the South – all in the hunt for the play-offs. Alloa Athletic are facing relegation currently propping up the table | Tickets not available all matches behind closed doors.
(W) SCOTTISH WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE. SWPL 1 & 2 ~ 4 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The SWPL returns after a temporary suspension and there’s all to play for in the top tier of Scotland’s elite women’s club football. Can all-conquering Glasgow City FC retain the SWPL1 trophy for a 14th consecutive season? It’s proving to be their biggest challenge so far with Rangers Women and Celtic FC both mounting a strong challenge having significantly strengthened their squads during the lockdown break. All three are locked together at the top of the table with Glasgow City and Celtic due to lock horns on 4 April* while Rangers and Celtic meet on 21 April*. Meanwhile in SWPL2 Aberdeen FC Women are flying high at the top of the table with Dundee United WFC their closest challengers | 🎟️ Tickets not available. BBC Scotland has a weekly SWPL1 highlights show on Sunday evenings. *Some matches are also broadcast live on BBC Alba.
NETBALL. VITALITY NETBALL SUPERLEAGUE ~ 9 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES IN FEBRUARY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The new Vitality Netball Superleague season continues this month. The UK’s top level, elite netball competition features eleven teams from England, Scotland and Wales including newcomers Leeds Rhinos. Strathclyde Sirens are relishing the opportunity to play competitive netball again after the 2020 VNSL season was cut short last March after just two rounds of matches. Sirens opened their campaign in impressive style with three wins from 4 matches and are currently seventh in the table on 11 points having featured in two gripping draws last month against Saracens Mavericks and Wasps Netball. Rounds 9-12 include a showdown for Sirens with high-flying Loughborough Lightning on 9 April. The first nine weeks of the new season take place at Studio 001 in Wakefield – then it’s onto London’s Copper Box Arena which hosts Rounds 12-20 starting 26 April to 21 June. Location for semi-finals and Grand Final on 26/27 June is TBC | Tickets not available. All matches live on Sky Sports or streamed on the Sky Sport YouTube channel.
RUGBY UNION. MELROSE SEVENS FESTIVAL ~ 8-11 April ~ The Greenyards, Melrose POSTPONED
The spiritual home of Rugby 7s hosts the 2021 Melrose Sevens with guest teams coming from far and near to play in this iconic tournament. 9 March update from organisers: “Unfortunately, with Coronavirus restrictions still in place, this year’s Melrose 7s festival, which was due to take place between the 8th & 11th April, will be postponed until further notice. Information concerning rescheduled dates will be shared as soon as firm plans are in place.” | Tickets not available. All tickets purchased for the cancelled 2020 festival remain valid for the next event.
🏀 BASKETBALL (M). GLASGOW ROCKS HOME MATCHES ~ 11, 16, 18 and 25 April ~ Emirates Arena ALL MATCHES IN APRIL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The British Basketball League (BBL) 2020/2021 season, featuring the top 11 men’s professional basketball sides in the UK, moves into the second half of the season this month with Glasgow Rocks in search of a change of fortunes. After their 2019/2020 title aspirations were thwarted by Covid-19 (the season being aborted) the Rocks have failed to pick up where they left off taking just four wins from 23 matches. A busy schedule in April includes three home matches on the spin with Cheshire Phoenix, Manchester Giants and Newcastle Eagles the opposition at Emirates Arena on 11, 16 and 18 April. The Rocks then travel to league leaders Leicester Riders before closing out the month with a visit from London Lions | Tickets not available. Match streams can be purchased individually or as part of a monthly pass from BBL Player.
🏇 HORSE RACING. SCOTTISH GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL 16-17 April ~ Ayr Racecourse FESTIVAL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The highlight of the National Hunt calendar in Scotland, the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival, returns for 2021. After last year’s festival was cancelled due to the pandemic they are racing at Ayr Racecourse albeit behind closed doors. Day 1 features a great afternoon of jumps action with the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase, a Listed race, the feature. Then on Saturday all eyes will be on the Scottish Grand National, which headlines eight outstanding races. Some great horses have taken part in the race down the years, lead by the legendary Red Rum who in 1974 became the only horse ever to win the Grand National and the Scottish Grand National in the same year | Tickets not available. Meeting on terrestrial TV see the ITV Racing schedule for details.
RUGBY UNION (W). WOMEN’S SIX NATIONS: SCOTLAND V ITALY & TBC ~ 17 and 24 April ~ Scotstoun Stadium MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Scotland’s women take on Italy in Round 3 of a truncated 2021 Women’s Six Nations. The pandemic has played havoc with the usual rugby calendar meaning the Women’s Six Nations has taken on a different format from previous years. Three rounds of matches precede a Finals Day on 24 April with Scotland on the road in Rounds 1 and 2 against England and Italy respectively. This afternoon the Scots finally get home advantage as they welcome Italy to Scotstoun Stadium for Round 3 of the tournament. The finals matches take place on 24 April and while the Scots are guaranteed a home fixture the opposition is currently tbc | Tickets not available games behind closed doors. Scotland v Italy on 17 April is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer as is Scotland’s match on 24 April, the latter also being broadcast on BBC Two Scotland.
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