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Ireland ‘A’ Game Called Off

Ireland ‘A’ Game Called Off

Just before the scheduled kick-off time, match referee Jerome Garces called off Friday’s ‘A’ international match between Ireland ‘A’ and England Saxons for player safety reasons.

The ground staff at Donnybrook had done sterling work to get the pitch ready for the game, especially considering that it was covered in snow and ice earlier in the day.

The surface passed a morning pitch inspection and although parts of the Donnybrook pitch were frozen, referee Jerome Garces and his touch judges were satisfied that the game should go ahead after a 7pm inspection

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However, shortly before the scheduled kick-off time, the England players emerged from the dressing room and their captain George Skivington was seen talking to the referee about the state of the pitch.

The referee then decided that as the temperature dropped that it was unsafe to play and called off the game.

Speaking after the decision was made, Ireland ‘A’ coach Michael Bradley conveyed the disappointment of his players.

“Well, obviously we would have liked to play. We’re disappointed. My feelings on it are, at this point, we would like to have played it,” he said.

“A lot of preparation went into the game and with 15 minutes to go the referee said we were good to go.

“But a minute before kick-off, England made further representation to the referee to reconsider and he did.

“Once the referee puts the match on we’re ready to go. It’s the referee’s decision, he ultimately has the responsibility but it was a 50-50 call.” 

The Ireland ‘A’ players will be hoping the weather improves over the course of the next week as they are scheduled to play Scotland ‘A’ at Donnybrook next Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Details of refunds for supporters who attended on the night will be published on Monday.