Sunday 19 November 2017

Bonanza as French rugby fans to spend €20m

French supporters Claire Ferrari, Jessica Grun and Alexandra Vieao - all from Metz - enjoy the fun in Temple Bar. Picture: Damien Eagers
French supporters Claire Ferrari, Jessica Grun and Alexandra Vieao - all from Metz - enjoy the fun in Temple Bar. Picture: Damien Eagers
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Dublin was subject to a Gallic invasion ahead of Ireland's Six Nations clash with France today.

Some welcome Continental chic brightened up a fairly drab Irish mid-winter afternoon. The French had arrived in force for their biennial rugby visit to what many of them insist is one of their favourite destinations.

For various pubs and clubs in the capital, the arrival of 'Les Bleus' will mean a financial windfall.

The match - always one of the high points of our sporting calendar - will deliver a welcome €20m boost to the city's coffers, according to estimates by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

More than 35 charter and scheduled flights ferried more than 6,000 French rugby fans to Dublin for the game.

In Temple Bar there was a small army of supporters draped in the French colours.

"This weekend is going to be one long party," enthused Jessica Grun, from Metz.

She had come here with four of her workmates, all looking forward to a turn-up for the form book, and an unexpected win for France.

And they all sung the praises of Johnny Sexton, whose place-kicking talents clearly made their mark with French rugby enthusiasts since he joined Racing Metro.

"I like Johnny - but this time I hope he has a bad day kicking against us," she quipped.

Irish Independent

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