If you are in the midlands on Friday night, there will be no better place to be than Dubarry Park. The Athlone ground is hosting the crunch Under-20 Six Nations tie between Eric Elwood’s Ireland and the current world champions, France.
The floodlit fixture, which has a 7.30pm kick-off, promises a feast of fast-moving rugby from the stars of tomorrow. The anticipation is growing amongst the locals, especially with their own Aidan Wynne, the Buccaneers centre, set to start in Ireland’s back line.
Huge crowds attended last season’s matches at Dubarry Park and, with two of the world’s top four nations playing there this year, even larger turnouts are expected this month. Fourth-ranked England are Ireland’s opponents on Friday, February 23.
Tickets are selling fast – they are currently on sale at a number of outlets, including The Bounty (contact Geraldine on 086-1732711 during normal business hours), MusicWorld, Golden Island Shopping Centre (tel: 090-6474372) and Keenan Sports, Athlone (tel: 090-6472030).
Tickets can also be bought at Harten’s Shop in Moate (tel: 090-6481307). Stand tickets for the France match are almost gone, and supporters should be warned that stand tickets for the England game are also selling strongly.
The prices for tickets are as follows: Stand €20, Terrace €10, Children €5 and Family (covering two adults and two children) €20. Cash will also be taken at the turnstiles on the night.
The Band of the Western Command will be providing pre-match and half-time musical entertainment, while the 2FM Roadcaster will also be broadcasting Ruth Scott’s Show from the ground on Friday afternoon.
Supporters travelling to the match from Dublin and the east are advised to take the Ballymahon Road slip-road off the by-pass and to avail of the car-parking facilities at the Athlone Regional Sports Centre. Patrons coming in the opposite direction from Galway and the west are urged to utilise the large car parks at the Queen of Peace Church, Coosan, and/or at B&Q.