Irish fan paid €534 for English rugby star's €85 ticket
RUGBY bosses are investigating how a ticket allocated to England player Owen Farrell for last weekend's Six Nations clash came to be sold for five times its face value online.
Dedicated Ireland fan Rose Waldron (39), originally from near Tullamore, Co Offaly but working in London, was "desperate" to go to the Triple Crown clash between Ireland and England at Twickenham and paid an "extortionate" price.
"I'd tried every other avenue and at 10pm on Friday night I decided to buy a ticket online," she said.
The fan told how the ticket, priced at £70 (€85), was listed on website Viagogo for £350 (€425), but she ended up paying £440 (€534) when VAT and reseller fees were taken into account.
"What a surprise when I received my ticket to find it was allocated to Owen Farrell of the England rugby team," she said.
On the ticket, it stated it was an 'England Team' ticket and displayed the name O Farrell.
It is understood the talented England fly-half was shocked to discover the ticket had been sold online, as it had been intended for a relation of a friend who could not attend the clash.
However, it was not the 22-year-old player's intention to make any money from it and he did not benefit in any way.
An English Rugby Football Union spokesperson said: "We are looking into the circumstances around how this ticket came to be available on a secondary ticketing site, something we take extremely seriously."
Ms Waldron said she wanted the Rugby Football Union to ensure in future that all tickets not required by players are returned to supporters' clubs to give more fans a chance to attend.
Ms Waldron said the seat, in the East Lower stand, was well-placed, only five rows from the pitch and close to the try line.
"I could walk down to the barrier next to the pitch. I had a very clear view of the teams warming up and Owen Farrell was practising his kicks right in front of me, funnily enough," she said.
All 82,000 tickets were sold ahead of the match – with some appearing on websites and on the streets for as much as €2,623.
Twickenham Stadium confirmed it employed solicitors to try and identify sellers.
By Louise Hogan