Donnybrook is to be the new home venue for the Ireland women’s Six Nations matches as well as the men’s U20s.
After the floodlight failure in Ashbourne earlier this year, the IRFU was under pressure to select a new venue for the Six Nation’s champions to play their home fixtures.
The Ireland U20s played England in Donnybrook last season, and the quality of the surface has led to the decision to keep all of their home fixtures at the Dublin venue for the 2016 championship.
Performance Director of the IRFU, David Nucifora, said: "The playing surface at Donnybrook Stadium is one of the best in the country and should allow both teams to play great rugby.
Having watched the U20s there in 2015 I was really impressed with the stadium and believe that it will bring something extra to the women’s game also."
Captain of the Ireland women’s team, Niamh Briggs, said, "The move to a bigger venue is fantastic for the development of the game but we will of course miss Ashbourne where we have always been made so welcome and were so well looked after.
We are delighted to have left on the high of a championship win and hope that all the supporters that followed our journey will join us for the next steps in the development of our game at Donnybrook."
The growth in support for the women’s game had pushed the facilities in Ashbourne to their limit.
The U20s will retain their normal Friday night slot for home matches while the women make their debut at Donnybrook on a Saturday afternoon.
Enticingly for supporters of women’s rugby, the Irish women’s home fixtures will not clash with any of the men’s Six Nations games.
Between the new venue and the new scheduling, supporting both the u20s and the women at home should no longer cause anguish for those wanting to support National Teams.
2016 RBS 6 NATIONS HOME INTERNATIONALS
Friday 5 February 2016 - Ireland U20’s v Wales U20’s ko 7.35pm
Saturday 6 February - Ireland Women v Wales Women ko 1.00pm
Friday 11 March 2016 - Ireland U20’s v Italy U20’s ko 7.35pm
Sunday 13 March - Ireland Women v Italy Women ko 1.00pm
Friday 18 March 2016 - Ireland U20’s v Scotland U20’s ko 7.35pm
Sunday 20 March - Ireland Women v Scotland Women ko 1.00pm
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