Thursday 22 February 2018

Ticket rush for biggest ever last-eight clash

Paul O'Connell waves to the Munster supporters after securing a home Heineken Cup quarter-final with last week's victory over Edinburgh
Paul O'Connell waves to the Munster supporters after securing a home Heineken Cup quarter-final with last week's victory over Edinburgh

John Fallon

The ticket frenzy for what promises to be one of an epic clash between two of rugby’s giants has begun in earnest, with supporters scrambling for the opportunity see Munster take on Toulouse in the Heineken Cup quarter-final in Thomond Park.

Top of the target list for fans will be the 6,000 tickets allocated to Toulouse for the April showdown.

Toulouse are entitled to a quarter of the tickets for the game but, while they are one of the best-supported French clubs for away ties, it seems unlikely they will take up their full allocation.

Already, Munster supporters have been in touch with friends and relatives living in France to see if they can access the tickets, as restrictions may be put in place by Toulouse ensuring that the tickets only go to people with French addresses.

Munster supporters have been masters in the past at getting their hands on opposition tickets – most recently at the same juncture of the competition in The Stoop last year, when the Reds turned out in force to see Rob Penney's men knock out a fancied Harlequins side.

“It is the most attractive quarter-final we have ever had,” said Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald, whose involvement with province as coach and administrator goes back long before the game went professional.

“They are the aristocrats of Europe and it is a huge boost to rugby in the province that we will be hosting them at Thomond Park in April.

“It is a game we are all looking forward to and a great outcome to all the hard work carried out in the pool stages.

“Staging the game will be a challenge and will be a great event but, of course, our primary objective will be to win it and advance to the semi-finals.

“We have only played Toulouse four times in Europe but it seems much more, as there is such a history between the clubs. At the moment the score stands at 2-2.”

Fitzgerald said that there was a template in place for the distribution of tickets but it is inevitable that even if there is a successful raid on the Toulouse allocation, demand will vastly exceed supply for what promises to be one of the sporting events of the year.

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