They may well be at odds for the 80 minutes of the match but off the field they will enjoy the fun, friendship and camaraderie of an international rugby weekend and in so doing, they will provide a huge boost to the Irish economy.
A report from the Smurfit Business School shows that the impact of an RBS 6 Nations weekend can be up 90 Million euro for the Irish economy.
The main impact is in the area of Food & Drink, Accomodation and Transport.
Visiting fans are taking the opportunity to turn the weekend into a short break and take in more than just the game, spreading the economic impact outside Dublin with counties such as Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow all benefiting.
The report shows that both home and visiting fans spend a significant amount of money over the weekend:
- Average weekend spend for Irish match goer is 299.21 euro
- Average weekend spend for visiting match goer is 882.25 euro
- Average weekend spend for visiting non match goer is even higher at 933.83 euro
Accomodation accounts for between 22 and 24% of this spend with Food & Beverages taking up nearly 60%
The impact is felt on the jobs front as well with the international weekends contributing to an estimated 800 full-time jobs and a further 1,700 part-time jobs on a match weekend.
Media advertising can also benefit from the interest in Irish rugby.
Ireland's first grand slam last year helped RBS 6 Nations broadcasters in Ireland post record television audiences for 2009, with almost a million viewers tuning in to RTE for the final game against Wales.
IRFU Commercial & Marketing Director Padraig Power commented on the report: "The report shows that Irish Rugby has a very significant role to play in helping to boost the Irish economy. Rugby has such an international profile and games in Ireland are always popular with visiting fans and that generates a huge boost for tourism"
"Add to that the spend by Irish Rugby supporters and the activity of sponsors of the IRFU. You only have to look at the papers or billboards or online to see how our sponsors spend heavily on advertising around our games to see that Irish Rugby has a vital role to play in the economic health of the nation."