Home games away

With the start of the new rugby season a couple of days away and the anthems at Ravenhill debate being the major rugby talking point, another story slipped under the radar.

For the second time in a few months, an Irish province raised the issue that they will play home matches outside Ireland for the next two seasons if they qualify for the later stages of the Heineken European Cup.

Current European champions [url=http://tinyurl.com/n4r3z]Munster has announced[/url] that they are looking at grounds in Cardiff, Manchester or London (registration required). Leinster and Ulster will be in a similar position.

Lansdowne Road is scheduled for redevelopment at the end of this year meaning at least 2 years with no rugby venue in Ireland capable of hosting a 25,000+ crowd. All European Quarter finals in recent years have exceeded 30,000 and the competition organisers have a minimum requirement of 25,000 for semi-finals.

Advance warning for supporters to start saving for a possible trip overseas? Or the first step in lobbying the GAA to use one of their stadia for provincial as well as international games – and if not for this season, the season after?