Fans eye chance to see tilt at World Cup win
First Europe, next the world. There will be a huge surge in interest for the Irish rugby team's voyage to Japan for next year's Rugby World Cup.
Tickets are not yet on general sale for the tournament, but supporters can express interest through several travel agencies.
Ireland firmly cemented their second place behind New Zealand in the World Rugby rankings, which were updated yesterday.
A spokesman for the IRFU said it hoped the team would have travelling support as strong as last time.
But the 2015 tournament was held in England and Wales, a short hop over the Irish Sea and home to many ex-pats.
In contrast, fans will need to start saving now if they wish to tackle Japan.
The tournament will be hosted between September 20 and November 2, 2019, with Irish fans hoping to be there right until the very last game.
Ireland kick off their campaign against Scotland on September 22.
Fly-half Johnny Sexton has upped the ante on the back of his nomination for Six Nations player of the year.
"The (last) World Cup obviously didn't go to plan, but there are lots of reasons why that didn't go to plan. Hopefully we can have a good crack at the next one," he said in an interview.
The IRFU spokesman said: "Any Irish team travelling is well supported - we had great support for the last World Cup and we are hopeful of similar or stronger support for the World Cup in Japan.
"That said, it is a long time away and we still have a tour of Australia, the November series and a Six Nations beforehand."