Leinster fans face tortuous trip home from daunting Toulon quarter-final
Leinster supporters have been handed a travel nightmare after their Heineken Cup quarter-final at Toulon was confirmed for the Sunday, April 6 slot.
Their game has been allotted a 5.30 local-time kick-off (4.30 Irish time) as ERC decided to hand the prime-time Saturday evening berth to Ulster's Ravenhill clash against Saracens at 6.30, with Munster kicking off five hours earlier in Thomond Park against Toulouse.
Ryanair may yet schedule an extra flight from Nice for Leinster supporters but, as it stands, many cash-strapped fans may have to pitch up in Toulon for an extra night, with the problem not getting to Toulon, but getting home.
The OLSC, Leinster's supporters' club, is endeavouring to arrange a transfer to the existing Aer Lingus flight that leaves Nice late on Sunday night, although the airline has been approached about delaying the flight, as supporters may have to leave before the game actually finishes as the airport is 150km away.
"We appreciate that this kick-off time is not ideal for supporters, especially given the fact there are no scheduled flights between Dublin and Toulon," they said.
"The OLSC has been in touch with the various airlines and travel operators.
"Now that the kick-off details have been confirmed, we will finalise and summarise the options for supporters as soon as possible."
Joe Walsh Tours will operate charter flights, details of which will be announced imminently.
Munster's home quarter-final ticket allocation will be distributed through the Munster rugby clubs, Munster Rugby Supporters Club and to ten-year ticket holders.
Should any tickets remain after these allocations, they will be released to other long-term ticket holders and season-ticket holders.
Ulster's ticket allocation has been announced via their website, ulsterrugby.com.
Meanwhile, Munster 'A' have been handed a British & Irish Cup quarter-final derby tie away to Leinster 'A' on the same weekend.
"It's a big opportunity. There's a great history at all levels between Leinster and Munster, but at 'A' level we've played each other in the semi-final in the last two years and it's one-all," said Munster coach Peter Malone.
Leinster 'A' topped their pool with six wins out of six and will be looking for a repeat of last season's 17-15 defeat of Munster 'A' in the last four.
HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER-FINALS
Saturday, April 5
Munster v Toulouse (1.30)
Clermont v Leicester (4.0)
Ulster v Saracens (6.30)
Sunday, April 6
Toulon v Leinster (4.30)