Monday 19 February 2018

Soccer clash no barrier to possible Pro12 'all-Ireland' at Lansdowne

David Kelly

David Kelly

Lansdowne Road will be able to hold a potential all-Ireland Grand Final of the Pro12 in May, despite yesterday's announcement of an international soccer friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 26.

The Grand Final is scheduled for the weekend of May 26/27 and with Leinster, Munster and Ulster all chasing a play-off spot, an all-Ireland final is possible.

However, stadium manager Martin Murphy has brushed off concerns that a clash might have to force such a fixture from the 51,000-capacity Lansdowne Road to either the reduced capacity of the RDS or Thomond Park.

"We have successfully held sporting fixtures on successive days on three separate occasions in the recent past, so it wouldn't be a problem for us," confirmed Murphy. "In fact, it's probably easier to switch from soccer to rugby if required. We've factored such a contingency in our plans. It could happen."

Meanwhile, there will be no public ticket sales for Munster's Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Ulster, who are expected to easily take up their allocation of 6,625 for the game in Thomond Park, which has been confirmed for Easter Sunday, April 8 (1.45).

"It is unlikely tickets will go on public sale for this match," said a spokesperson for Munster. "Tickets will be issued according to contractual commitments, whereby Munster Rugby will distribute all tickets through the Munster clubs and the Munster supporters club.

"In order to satisfy ERC tournament rules, there will be a reduced number of tickets available for distribution for this match with an increased allocation distributed to both the visiting team and the tournament organisers."

Leinster have been handed the prime Saturday evening slot -- 5.45 -- for their quarter-final clash with Cardiff Blues at Lansdowne Road.

Season-ticket holders have already begun to snap up their tickets, while tickets will go on general sale at 10.0 on Friday morning, February 3, from usual outlets. Cardiff are entitled to 12,500 tickets, but they are unlikely to take up this allocation.

Edinburgh play Toulouse at Murrayfield on April 7 at 3.0, with Saracens tackling Clermont at Vicarage Road a day later at 4.30.

Irish Independent

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