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Croke Park Cleared As A Potential Semi-Final Venue

Croke Park Cleared As A Potential Semi-Final Venue

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.

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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.”