Thursday 25 December 2014

Red Army ready to march on France

Barry Duggan

Published 08/04/2013 | 06:31

Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell after the match

MUNSTER'S Red Army are preparing for a mass invasion of the south of France in less than three weeks.

Delighted rugby supporters were booking flights online last night to Montpellier after the southern province achieved another famous European victory.

After defeating Harlequins, Munster will still be underdogs when they play Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup semi-final on April 27 in Montpellier.

With a 6pm kick-off on a Saturday evening, thousands of supporters are expected to make their way to Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier for the match.

The stadium has a capacity of 32,000 and the match is set to be a sell-out.

Quickly realising the opportunity that has been presented by Munster fans desperate to travel, Ryanair have put on a service between Shannon and Montpellier.

Less than two hours after yesterday's game ended, the starting price of the return flight leaving Shannon on April 26 and departing Montpellier on April 28 was available online at €349.

The starting price of a return Ryanair flight from Dublin to Montpellier -- on the same dates -- was €299.

Chartered flights to France are expected to be announced by the end of this week.

RESOURCEFUL

Theresa South of Creation Travel in Limerick said the number of chartered services to Montpellier will all depend on demand from supporters.

"Munster fans have throughout the years proven to be very resourceful when it comes to travelling abroad," Ms South said.

"They'll travel to any game by plane, train and automobile.

"With the recession, demand for flights to away matches went down in recent years but I would expect that details of chartered flights will be announced by the end of the week.

"It all depends on what kind of demand there is from supporters," she added.

A Shannon Airport spokesperson said they expect a large demand from supporters looking to travel to France.

"We are confident that there will be a number of chartered services from Shannon to help feed the huge demand from Munster fans keen to travel and support their team.

"Come April 26, it will be the start of a very busy weekend at Shannon Airport," the spokesman said.

Ruairi Corbett (30), from Limerick, who was at yesterday's game, is already well-prepared ahead of the Irish invasion of southern France.

"I've already booked the ferry and flights for our semi-final game in France.

"Anything can happen now. Nothing is impossible," he said.

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