Connacht and Ulster clash move...


Connacht and Ulster clash moved to Aviva Stadium

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Connacht have given up home advantage to allow their United Rugby Championship match with Ulster take place at the Aviva Stadium.

Their interprovincial joust is scheduled for October 23rd, with kick off at 5.15pm.

Significantly, it takes place the day after the final easing of Covid restrictions, which is set to be on October 22nd.

It means a large crowd could attend, with potentially no limit on attendance.

Connacht CEO, Willie Ruane, said the province consulted supporters groups before taking the decision.

"With all of the uncertainty surrounding capacities over recent months the opportunity provided to us by the IRFU to play at the Aviva Stadium is one that we felt we could not pass up.

"As we all know there are tens of thousands of people living in Dublin who are originally from the West of Ireland, and we hope to use this game to not only provide our supporters living in the west with the opportunity to make this a memorable day but also for our supporters living outside the province to come along and cheer on their home team.

"We’d like to thank our official supporters club the Connacht Clan for their support of this fixture since we first engaged with them last month, as well as the IRFU for their support in helping us to bring this game to the home of Irish Rugby."

'Ideal' venue

Connacht head coach Andy Friend also welcomed confirmation that the fixture was taking place at Lansdowne Road - as it did in August of 2020.

“Our fixture against Ulster at the Aviva last year was a really special occasion.

"At the time it was our first game in six months and for most of the players it was their first experience playing at the stadium. You could see straight away that the venue was ideal for the type of rugby we want to play, and that helped give us the win we deserved.

"The prospect of returning there - but this time with thousands of Connacht supporters behind us - is something the staff and players have been fully behind since the start, and we can’t wait until that day arrives."

The URC gets underway this weekend.

Connacht are away to the Cardiff Blues on Friday, with Ulster at home to the Glasgow Warriors on the same evening.

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