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Stage is set...with VIP tents and pop-up bars

LEINSTER fans are used to the ultra modern design of the Aviva, but Bordeaux's Stade Chaban Delmas offers an entirely different experience -- dating back to the World War II era.

The stadium which will host Sunday's epic battle was state-of-the-art in 1938 and has since become a popular tourist attraction.

It boasts the longest players' tunnel of any stadium in Europe, measuring a nerve- wracking 120m.

Irish fans of the sport will remember Chaban Delmas from the 2007 Rugby World Cup, when our green-shirted soldiers took on Georgia and Namibia there.

Situated just off the tram line, Chaban Delmas is on the outskirts of the town and fans will be delighted to know its is only a 25-minute walk from Bordeaux's centre -- with a host of bars surrounding the stadium.

Meanwhile, stragglers coming straight from the airport, can hop on bus 49 into the town and get off at Hopital Pellegrin.

Up to 400 staff and security have been enlisted for what is sure to be a momentous occasion between the European champs and French side Clermont.

A number of streets are expected to be closed off as the excited fans march the 2km journey from city hall to the 34,263 capacity grounds ahead of kick-off.

Over 1,500 Leinster fans will enjoy their own section in the stands to maximum noise and impact amid the French trumpets.

A host of pop-up bars and VIP tents are set to spring up.

A team insider told the Herald that although the majority of Leinster's travelling supporters are not expected until tonight, a few hundred have decided to make it a weekend affair. Captain Leo Cullen and the lads will touch down in France tomorrow morning.

labutler@herald.ie


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