To mark the opening of the Aviva Stadium, the Irish Rugby Football Union have confirmed that the first game to be played at the ground in 2010 will be an historic rugby match between two composite provincial teams,pitting a Leinster/Ulster team against a Munster/Connacht selection on Saturday, July 31, 2010.
To mark the opening of the Aviva Stadium, the Irish Rugby Football Union have confirmed that the first game to be played at the ground in 2010 will be an historic exhibition rugby match sponsored by O2 between two composite provincial teams pitting a Leinster/Ulster team against a Munster/Connacht selection on Saturday, July 31, 2010.
These sides will be made up in the main, of development and academy players from the provinces showcasing the future talented young players in the game.
In a RWC year the front line International and Provincial players will be in pre season training rotation and will not be available for selection for this game.
Leinster and Ulster were the first representative teams to play at the old Lansdowne Road nearly 133 years ago on December 16, 1876.
Both provinces were also on hand to play the final game, ‘The Last Stand’, at the world famous stadium on New Year’s Eve 2006, when Leinster beat Ulster 20-12 in the Magners League.
While they were rivals on both of these occasions, they will be joining forces as a Leinster/Ulster selection will play a Munster/Connacht team for the first ever game at the Aviva Stadium.
The game will form part of the provincial pre-season calendar and present Irish rugby stakeholders with the opportunity to be the first to witness rugby returning home to the iconic Aviva Stadium.
The Aviva Stadium will play host to some of the top teams in world rugby during the GUINNESS Series in November next year.
Ireland are scheduled to play four internationals for the first time during that period against World champions South Africa, followed by games against Samoa, New Zealand and Argentina.
The international rugby fixture list was completed yesterday with the announcement that France will be the first RBS 6 Nations game at the Aviva Stadium and that Ireland will host England in a final day clash on March 20.
Commenting on the announcement, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “This promises to be a great occasion to open the Aviva Stadium to the Irish rugby public.
“It was felt that a combined provinces fixture would be the most appropriate way to do this, providing a look back into the history of the game while also creating a new chapter for Irish rugby.”
AVIVA STADIUM RUGBY FIXTURES 2010/11 (kick-off times to be confirmed):
Connacht/Munster v Leinster/Ulster
Saturday, July 31
GUINNESS Series –
Ireland v South Africa
Saturday, November 6
Ireland v Samoa
Ireland v New Zealand
Ireland v Argentina
RBS 6 Nations –
Ireland v France
Saturday, February 13, 2011, 3pm
Ireland v England
Saturday, March 19, 2011, 5pm
*N.B. Playing dates for the games in the GUINNESS Series will be confirmed later