The Irish Rugby Football Union today confirmed that Ireland will play the Barbarians for the MasterCard Trophy at Thomond Park on Friday, June 4, 2010 (kick-off 7.45pm). This match will form part of Ireland’s 2010 Southern Hemisphere tour preparations and the Barbarians’ summer tour, with a fixture against England the week before.
This will be the first time that Ireland has played the Barbarians in Ireland since 2000. The most recent meeting between the two sides also coincided with the last Southern Hemisphere tour Ireland undertook in 2008 when Ireland played the Barbarians in Gloucester, winning the game 39-14.
Following the Baa Baas’ game in Limerick, the Ireland squad will depart to New Zealand and Australia where they are currently scheduled to play two games on the tour against the All Blacks on June 12 and the Wallabies on June 26.
Irish Rugby Football Union President John Callaghan said: “This promises to be a truly memorable occasion as both IRFU and Munster welcome the Barbarians once more to Ireland.
“The much celebrated Barbarians’ brand of rugby will surely bring an entertaining game to Thomond Park and one which I am sure Ireland rugby fans will looking forward to seeing.”
Both teams have been in a rich vein of form with Ireland’s recent unbeaten record in the GUINNESS Series 2009 and the Barbarians’ euphoric 25-18 victory against the All Blacks in front of a 65,000 crowd at Twickenham.
The teams will be looking forward to the challenge of showcasing their skills once again with some scintillating, attractive running rugby to entertain the fanatical Munster rugby crowd on the day.
Announcing the agreement with Ireland and the Barbarians, Thomond Park Stadium Director John Cantwell said: “We are delighted to have secured this most prestigious event and it further enhances the reputation of Thomond Park Stadium as an international class venue.
“The superb victory achieved by the Barbarians over the All Blacks last weekend highlights the quality of their squads, and I am certain that sports fans across the country will be excited at the prospect of watching the galaxy of world class players that will be participating in this unique match.
“This event will also deliver significant economic benefits to local businesses and provide a substantial level of positive media exposure that will help to promote the region as a tourist destination.”
A spokesperson from the Barbarians confirmed that invitations have already been issued to Doug Howlett, Jean de Villiers and Paul Warwick of Munster which will be of further interest to the local fans.
The Baa Baas will be a side packed full of leading international stars with further team announcements in the New Year.
Barbarian President Micky Steele-Bodger commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be invited back to Ireland where we have so many friends in the game. Over the years Irish rugby folk have done the Barbarians proud, both as players and club administrators.
“To be visiting the new stadium at Thomond Park is an added attraction and honour for us. Back in 1991 we were in Munster to help Cork Constitution FC to celebrate their centenary and we have enjoyed similar anniversary matches with Old Wesley and the Wanderers in Dublin.
“The prospect of playing the national team and the 2009 RBS 6 Nations champions in Limerick is something we shall look forward to tremendously and will provide a fitting climax to our 2010 summer tour.”
The Barbarians first played in Ireland in October 1957 when they beat an Ulster Invitation XV 14-11 at Ravenhill. More recently, they beat South Africa at Lansdowne Road in 1994, played there again against Ireland in the Peace International in 1996, and as part of the summer tour in 2000.
“In November, MasterCard signed a match sponsorship deal for all the Barbarian Internationals in 2009/10 with each match to be known as the MasterCard Trophy,” Ben Rhodes, VP Marketing MasterCard UK, remarked,
“We are delighted to add another MasterCard Trophy game to what is already a fantastic series.
“Ireland is a key market for us and we look forward to activating the sponsorship with some of our local key customers as we continue to build our rugby heritage ahead of the World Cup in 2011.”
Tickets for the MasterCard Trophy are on sale from today (Wednesday, December 9) and range from €;30 to €;55, plus family packs at €;50 are available on www.Ticketmaster.ie and from all usual outlets including Thomond Park Stadium, or by phoning the Ticketmaster hotline on 0818 719 300.
As a pre 2009 Christmas special promotion, if you buy two full price tickets before January 1, 2010 you will receive a €;20 merchandise voucher for use at the Munster Rugby Store.
A maximum of 5,000 vouchers will be issued and purchases can be redeemed from May 1 to June 5, 2010.
(*Voucher promotion excludes family tickets and concessions)
THE BARBARIANS IN IRELAND:
October 19, 1957 v Ulster Invitation XV (Belfast): W 14-11
September 16, 1970 v Wanderers (Dublin): W 30-9
September 10, 1991 v Constitution (Cork): W 39-9
September 12, 1991 v Old Wesley (Dublin): L 36-37
December 3, 1994 v South Africa (Dublin): W 23-15
May 18, 1996 v Ireland (Dublin): W 70-38
May 28, 2000 v Ireland (Dublin): W 31-30
On May 27, 2008 the Barbarians played Ireland in Kingsholm, Gloucester. Ireland won the match 39-14.