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Excitement Builds Ahead Of Ireland Women’s Aviva Debut

Excitement Builds Ahead Of Ireland Women’s Aviva Debut

Saturday’s double header at the Aviva Stadium will see the Ireland Women’s squad follow Brian O’Driscoll into the record books when they line out in the first Women’s international to be played at the Dublin 4 ground.

Tickets for the historic Ireland v Italy Women’s game at the Aviva Stadium are available to buy here on Ticketmaster.ie. They are priced at €;10 for adults and €;5 for children.

Those in possession of tickets for the Ireland v Italy men’s Six Nations match on the day are invited to remain for the women’s fixture (kick-off 5pm).

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To promote the Women’s game, the IRFU are providing 400 euro to clubs who currently field a Women’s team to defray the costs of travelling for the historic match.

As the countdown continues to the much-anticipated outing for the girls in green, their Grand Slam-winning captain Fiona Coghlan appeared on RTÉ 2fm’s ‘Game On’ last night to preview the match.

Asked about playing at the Aviva Stadium, she said: “I think it adds to it and it brings more excitement, but at the end of the day it’s just another pitch.

“We were lucky enough to play at Twickenham the last day and that was another huge occasion.

“Once we step over the line it’s just another pitch. But it is exciting and hopefully the Irish support will get behind us as well.”

A 15,000-strong crowd watched England hold on for a 17-10 win over Coghlan’s charges, although Ireland remain second overall and a victory over the Italians could set up a Championship decider away to leaders France next week.

Second row Marie Louise Reilly said: “I think (the Aviva Stadium fixture) just adds credibility to the Women’s game.

“For me personally, I really believe it’s when people actually see the brand of rugby that we play, they see the skill, the speed and the technique, they really are always taken aback.”

As well as it being Brian O’Driscoll’s final home game for the Irish men’s side on Saturday, his female equivalent, Lynne Cantwell, who has starred in the number 13 jersey over a 13-year period, is also bowing out at international level this year.

“We were disappointed after the second half against England. We have a lot of things to put right – we’re aiming to do it here (at the Aviva) on Saturday and put on a show for people,” added Coghlan.

“It would be testament to Lynne but to everyone else in the squad if we got a win on Saturday evening with the whole Irish public behind us.”

Asked for her thoughts on O’Driscoll, the Ireland Women’s skipper remarked: “He’s just phenomenal. He epitomises everything that sportspeople should be like, both on and off the pitch. He’s just been brilliant.”

If you cannot make it to the Ireland Women’s match against Italy, there will be live worldwide coverage on the RTÉ News Now channel and a live stream on www.rte.ie/live, from 4.55pm on Saturday.

RTÉ 2fm’s ‘Game On’ will also provide live radio commentary from the ground, beginning at 5pm.

Thursday’s special broadcast of ‘Game On’ in the Aviva Stadium was attended by members of the Irish Rugby Supporters Club. You can listen back to the programme in full here.