No Paris rematch for fans who didn't keep their tickets
RUGBY fans who mislaid or threw away their tickets after the abandoned Ireland-France game last Saturday will not get a refund or be allowed to attend the rescheduled match.
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) will only refund the cost when actual tickets are produced, and will not reissue new ones for the game on March 4.
Details of how refunds will be issued emerged yesterday, with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) saying tickets must be returned by 5pm next Tuesday.
The announcement affects about 6,000 Irish rugby fans who had tickets to the match that was called off at the last minute due to a frozen pitch.
The IRFU said it would take up to five weeks to process the refunds, and that the FFR would only refund "actual physical tickets".
"Tickets that were purchased through a provincial club or www.irishrugby.ie can be returned to any of the provincial branch offices in Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster or to the IRFU head office at 10-12 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4," it said.
Fans who purchased through travel agents or ticket sites must contact those agencies to claim the refund.
The move was criticised by the Consumers Association, with its chief Dermott Jewell saying fans should only have to prove that they had purchased a ticket for the original match.
Meanwhile, the IRFU has hit out at the travel problems experienced by Ireland's women's team prior to playing France in their Six Nations tie in Pau in the south of France, hours before their male counterparts were due to kick off. The Irish team, who lost the tie 8-7, had missed a connecting flight so arrived at their hotel at 7am on Saturday following an overnight train journey.
An IRFU spokesman said Six Nations protocol dictated that matches should be played no more that 90 minutes travel from an airport with direct scheduled flights, "which was patently not the case".
In a separate development, Ryanair yesterday announced it would provide an extra return flight to Paris (Beauvais) for fans who don't want to take an extra day off. Flights will depart Dublin at 10.20am on Saturday, March 3, returning from Paris at 10.30pm the following day.
Flights cost €199 including taxes, charges and admin fees.
D'Arcy -- we must improve: Sport