The Irish Rugby Football Union and ERC, the Heineken Cup organisers, have both welcomed the decision by the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Central Council to make Croke Park provisionally available as a potential semi-final venue for this season’s Heineken Cup.
With the way the recent Heineken Cup semi-final draw worked out, there is the possibility of a Munster v Leinster semi-final or a Munster v Harlequins semi-final on the weekend of May 2-3.
The IRFU and ERC will now begin preliminary discussions with Croke Park Stadium to plan for the hosting of a possible semi-final in the competition, which could see the 82,300-capacity stadium become the 85th venue for the Heineken Cup.
Venues for the semi-finals will be confirmed by the ERC following the completion of the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on April 11 and 12.
Commenting on the decision, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “I would like to thank GAA President Nickey Brennan and the GAA Central Council for today’s decision as it allows us to work towards confirming the venues for the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup.
“The prospect of either Munster playing in the stadium or the possibility of another all-Ireland semi-final between Munster and Leinster is an exciting one for Irish rugby fans.”
Welcoming the decision by the GAA’s Central Council, Jean-Pierre Lux, the ERC Chairman, said: “On behalf of the Board of ERC, I would like to thank GAA President Nickey Brennan and the wider Association for making their magnificent stadium available to the Heineken Cup for these potential semi-final fixtures.
“Should a semi-final in Ireland arise, Croke Park would certainly serve as a fantastic backdrop for this showpiece European semi-final.”