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Battle of the jerseys hits fever pitch as Dubs sales outstrip our rugby heroes

THE Dubs have hammered Ireland's World Cup rugby team... as the battle of the jerseys reaches fever pitch.

Demand for Dublin tops is far outstripping sales of Irish rugby jerseys despite our boys taking on Australia at the World Cup in New Zealand at the weekend.

Many shops have entirely sold out of some sizes in Dublin jerseys as the demand for replica gear soars.

Other items, including flags and mugs, are flying off shelves in shops such as Arnotts, Elverys and Champion Sports, as the Dubs seek to claim their first All-Ireland football title in 16 years at Croke Park this weekend.

Even our Dublin GAA T-shirt promotion, jointly run by the Herald and Champion Sports, sold out within three hours of its much-publicised launch yesterday as 'Sam fever' took a grip on the capital.

Emily Barry of Champion Sports said demand for Dublin jerseys in their stores had been "stunning" in recent weeks.

"The Dublin fans are 100pc behind the boys and this has been reflected in our jersey sales. We're looking forward to seeing them out in force at Croker this weekend," she said.

Despite unprecedented demand, O'Neills Sportswear have revealed that retailers will be adequately supplied in the run-up to Sunday's final. Marketing Manager Cormac Farrell said: "The strong sales that we're enjoying are a boost, not only to us, but to the Irish economy, as we currently employ 520 people here."

Leigh Murphy of Lifestyle Sports in Citywest said: "They're our best seller at the moment, even outstripping our sales of the Ireland rugby jersey."

One fan who couldn't get his hands on a jersey was 23-year-old student Danny Murray.

"I went into Elverys in Dun Laoghaire looking for one and was told that they'd run out of my size," he said.

"They said that sales had been much higher than expected. They told me they've an order due in from their warehouse in the next 24 hours, though, so hopefully I can still get my hands on one," he added.

Arnotts have also reported an upsurge in sales. Lorraine Malone of their Henry Street branch said: "People are coming in and buying three or four jerseys at a time, telling us they're having house parties and buying them for their family to wear.

"Dublin bags are selling well too, as are Dublin hoodies, but nothing compared to how well the jerseys are selling. All Dublin jerseys, including the away ones, are selling really well."