Kinsale gears up to host Munster's British and Irish Cup clash with Yorkshire

Kinsale RFC president Peter Elliot believes the club will benefit hugely from hosting Friday’s British and Irish Cup clash between Munster A and Yorkshire Carnegie (8pm).

Kinsale gears up to host Munster's British and Irish Cup clash with Yorkshire

Munster lost their first round tie against London Scottish by two points in Richmond last Friday and will be desperate to secure victory in front of their home fans.

“It’s a huge day for the club and it’s a great opportunity to showcase Kinsale rugby,” said Elliot. “It will greatly benefit the club’s profile. We want to show our supporters and newcomers that we can put on a good show.”

Preparations in Kinsale have been in full flow this week and are set to continue with the installation of an electronic scoreboard scheduled for the coming days.

“What triggered this event was the installation of match grade floodlights on the pitch which happened during the summer,” explained Elliot.

“Our aim for a while now has been to get an electronic scoreboard.

“When this event was confirmed, we decided it was the time to install one. With the new scoreboard and the lights being installed, it’s a sign of major investment in the club.”

With the floodlights installed, Kinsale RFC approached Munster Rugby about hosting a professional game. Munster had agreed to host British and Irish Cup games across the province this year and were delighted to accept the offer.

“We were looking for a big event to mark the installation of the lights. We said it to Munster back in September and it’s really gone from there.”

Kinsale RFC officials met with Munster rugby representatives yesterday for a final briefing ahead of Friday’s clash to discuss the final details. But it isn’t just on field matters that have to be dealt with.

“The other major preparation we’ve undergone is parking,” Elliot said. “We’re expecting quite a bit of traffic to the club on Friday evening.”

Three shuttle buses run by Kinsale RFC will ferry fans from Kinsale Town and from Charles’ Fort to the Snugmore grounds.

The club have also been working with gardaí to organise and implement a traffic management plan.

Kinsale RFC are no stranger to hosting big events. Every May Bank holiday, the club host their annual Kinsale Sevens tournament, something which Elliot said has helped them prepare for Friday night.

“We have that experience of hosting a major competition,” he said. “Every year we host 85 teams in a tournament over one weekend that sees over 5,000 visitors come to support teams and enjoy the event. So as a club, we’re used to the big events.”

While Elliot admitted supporter attendances may have dropped slightly during the recession, he said the level of interest from clubs never dwindled.

“Every year, we always have 85 teams which is the maximum allowed on our five pitches. The attendance is definitely picking back up again.

“Last year’s tournament went extremely well in spite of the weather. It rained on both days but we still had over 5,000 visitors, and it went down very well.”

Tickets for Munster’s clash with Yorkshire Carnegie are on sale now from www.munsterrugby.ie and are €10 for adults and €3 for children.

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