“There will be 50,000 at the Namibia match on Sunday, and Australia isn’t known for it’s huge Namibian community so I’d bet the majority will be Irish,” says Rory Quirke from Fermoy.
Two Irish die-hard rugby fans couldn’t wait to get to Gosford on Saturday for Ireland’s first game of the Rugby World Cup.
The pair, Rory Quirke from Fermoy and Brian Gill from Kilworth, both came to Australia on a working holiday visa last year and planned their entire holiday around the six week tournament.
The two (Munster and Cork Con) fans queued overnight in August to secure tickets for Ireland’s crunch clash against Australia in Melbourne on
They had an easier task getting tickets for Ireland’s match against Romania and for the Argentina match in Adelaide, managing to buy them on the internet. They have no tickets for the Namibia game on Sunday but are hopeful of getting two before the game.
“There might be some floating around on the day. A lot of people are holding
tickets for friends coming from Ireland that haven’t arrived, so we’re hoping we’ll pick a couple up,” said Rory.
Tickets for Ireland’s pool matches are in huge demand. Ireland’s four matches in the tournament are completely sold out, making
Ireland the only nation do so. Not even the Wallabies or the All Blacks have managed to sell out their games.
The Romania game in Gosford is the talk of all the comment writers in Sydney’s newspapers. The good-natured Irish fans arrived in a sea of green and sang and cheered throughout the match, a sight that impressed many Australians.
According to Rory, Saturday was a great start to the Rugby World Cup for the Irish supporters.
atmosphere was very good and things are going to get better from here. There will be 50,000 at the Namibia match on Sunday, and Australia isn’t known for it’s huge Namibian community so I’d bet the majority will be Irish,” he said.
The pair travelled on to the Irish team’s hotel, the Crown Plaza in Terrigal, after the match hoping to meet some of the players, and they were not disappointed.
“I got my photo taken with Brian O’Driscoll and I’m delighted
Rory’s friend Brian said. “I didn’t want to bother him but he was really nice about it and posed for pictures with loads of Irish fans.”
A number of the team joined a few hundred Irish and Australians in the hotel bar following the game. Players including Reggie Corrigan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Peter Stringer and Paul O’Connell all joined with Irish fans at the team’s hotel in Terrigal after their win against Romania.
Stars Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara and Denis Hickie were in huge demand, with many Aussies and Irish very keen to have their pictures taken with them.
Another Irish supporter, John McGrath, got to meet his sporting idol O’Gara in Terrigal. “That’s definitely one for the mantle piece. Ronan was a complete gentleman, he even thanked me for coming out and supporting the team,” he added.