24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
In advance of Connacht's first home game of the Magners League, coach Michael Bradley has called on supporters to double the attendance figures at the Sportsground.
Connacht struggled to fill their Galway ground during last season's league, with crowds fluctuating from as low as 650 to a high of 2,300.
Only 1,100 spectators showed up to watch the westerners end the league on a winning note when they defeated Glasgow Warriors 33-7 last May.
Bradley's charges lost five of their ten home games in the 2005/06 league with one of the sides to have beaten them, the Ospreys paying a return visit this Friday evening (kick-off 6.30pm).
With their switch to Friday night rugby towards the end of last season proving successful, Connacht will hope a sustained run at the Sportsground over the next six weeks - with Llanelli, Edinburgh, Leinster, Ulster and Dragons also due out west - will draw in the crowds.
Bradley said: "We have a great band of supporters who have been very vocal and they have got great entertainment from the games, particularly with us having won five of our last seven at home last season. Hopefully we can double the crowd and they will get behind us again."
They got the ideal start last Friday when second half tries from midfield duo Gavin Williams and Paul Warwick saw them earn a 29-15 win at Border Reivers. But Bradley agrees his players will face a stiffer test this week, especially with New Zealander Justin Marshall now directing operations behind the Ospreys' scrum.
"While the Borders and ourselves would be considered one of the teams in the lower half of the league, the Ospreys would be considered one of the top. They are travelling with a full squad, but if we play as good as we did last weekend then we will trouble any side," added the former Ireland scrum half.
"Justin Marshall has added another dimension to the Ospreys. He was a key figure in their game against Edinburgh and we would expect a lot of play to go through him. Outside of that, they have a very strong side with 24 internationals available to them."
Lyn Jones' Ospreys won the corresponding fixture last season by 44-16.