Connacht headed to Aviva Stadium when restrictions end

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Galway Daily sport Connacht headed to Aviva Stadium when restrictions end
Photo: Connacht Rugby/INPHO

Aviva Stadium has been confirmed as the venue for the Interprovincial fixture between Connacht and Ulster in the URC next month.

Connacht and Ulster will play in Round 5 of the United Rugby Championship on October 23, one day after almost all public health restrictions are expected to be lifted.

This will be one of the first professional sporting events to take place in Ireland as the country finally begins to return to normal.

Willie Ruane, CEO of Connacht Rugby, says the day promises to be a memorable occasion, noting that it will be the first time that their supporters will be able to cheer the professional squad on at Aviva.

Andy Friend’s squad previously played two fixtures at the ground in August 2020, including a win over Ulster in their first game back since the suspension of the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14.

Ruane said that he’s confident the fans will “turn out in force” to support the squad, and make the day one to remember.

“With all of the uncertainty surrounding capacities over recent months the opportunity provided to us by the IRFU to play at the Aviva Stadium is one that we felt we could not pass up.”

“As we all know there are tens of thousands of people living in Dublin who are originally from the West of Ireland,” Ruane added.

“We hope to use this game to not only provide our supporters living in the west with the opportunity to make this a memorable day but also for our supporters living outside the province to come along and cheer on their home team.”

He thanked the Connacht Clan supporters club for the backing they have given this fixture since raising it with them last month, the IRFU for making it happen, and TG4 for accommodating the changed time slot.

Kick-off for the match will be at 5:15pm on the evening of Saturday, October 23.

Head Coach Andy Friend said that the squad is eager to return to the Aviva, saying that when they played Ulster there last year, it was a special occasion for many players.

“At the time it was our first game in six months and for most of the players it was their first experience playing at the stadium.”

“You could see straight away that the venue was ideal for the type of rugby we want to play, and that helped give us the win we deserved.”

“The prospect of returning there – but this time with thousands of Connacht supporters behind us – is something the staff and players have been fully behind since the start, and we can’t wait until that day arrives.”

All Season Tickets will be valid, with holders provided a complimentary upgrade to Premium Level seats. People with season tickets should expect to get an email tomorrow, Thursday, to choose their spot.

Remaining 1885 Club members will have exclusive access to purchase tickets from Friday for the weekend. As a thank you, these members can also purchase tickets in the Premium Level for the same price as a Category 1 ticket.

The remaining tickets for the Lower Level and Premium Level will go on sale this Monday from 9am.