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.
That's 19 more Cup players than the top two divisions in England can manage, clearly indicating the high quality available in the three-nation Celtic competition. Celtic League champions Munster will be missing the most players during the tournament - 13 - with a dozen of their top side representing Ireland, as well as recent signing Gordon McIlwham, the Scottish prop. Leinster are providing 10 players to the Irish squad and will also have summer signing Felipe Contepomi on duty with Argentina. Llanelli Scarlets are the next biggest providers with 10 players, eight to the Welsh squad and one each to Ireland and the USA.
The only side in the 12-strong Celtic League who will not be missing any players during the World Cup are Connacht, while the Gwent Dragons will be missing only two players in Scottish No 8 Ross Beattie and Canadian prop Rod Snow.
The French leagues will be worst hit of all the northern hemisphere tournaments with no fewer than 94 players from 13 nations heading Down Under. As well as 29 players from the French squad, there are 20 Georgians, 15 Romanians and 13 Argentinians who ply their trade in France. The top two divisions in England will also lose players to nine other nations other than their own. In addition to the 29 English players going to Oz, 11 of the Scottish squad play south of the border. Four of the USA squad have a home in England, along with three Canadians, two Tongans and two Argentinians. In total, 60 players from English league clubs will be turning out in the World Cup.