Friday 20 July 2018

Rugby fans hoping for St Patrick’s Day joy at Twickenham

With tickets akin to gold dust, hundreds of Irish fans have gathered at pubs near Twickenham stadium in the south west of the capital.

By Catherine Wylie, Press Association

Irish rugby fans are hoping for a glorious Saint Patrick’s Day as their side takes on England in a Grand Slam showdown at Twickenham.

London has been painted green as Ireland’s rugby squad bid for a place in Irish folklore in the Six Nations on England’s home turf.

Ireland has already won the Six Nations – their third in five years – but are hoping to secure a sweet victory over the English to cement their third ever Grand Slam.

With tickets akin to gold dust, hundreds of Irish fans have gathered at pubs near Twickenham stadium in the south west of the capital.

On a packed train en route to the area, Ciaran Walsh, 22, from Cork, said he is “barbarically excited”, adding: “It is a seismic day in Irish rugby history.”

Conor Crowley, 22, from Cork, said: “It is a Herculean day in the Irish rugby calendar.”

Conor Barry, 22, also from Gaggin in West Cork, said: “I actually have a feeling of numbness with nerves.”

Serena O’Sullivan, 29, from Croom in County Limerick, said it is a “special” day as she was walking to the stadium.

“We’ll be very disappointed if we lose. We are really hoping for a great win,” she said.

Her friend Elaine O’Callaghan, 26, from Knockanagoshel in County Kerry, said: “I sincerely hope for the Grand Slam and being here in London for the first time, it’s a dream come true.

“Couldn’t be more proud to be Irish.”

Tony Killarney, 60, from Monivea in County Galway, was wearing a shamrock suit, and asked how he felt, he said: “I wouldn’t be wearing this if I wasn’t excited. It’s fantastic.

“This is the biggest day – Saint Patrick’s Day and the Grand Slam. It’s such an opportunity.”

Mairead Daly, 25, from Castlecomer in County Kilkenny, was with a group of friends and said: “We’re buzzing. We’ve been up since 7.30am ready for this historic day.

“I took annual leave on Monday because I’m expecting a heavy weekend.”

Press Association

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