There's just over a week to go until this year's Heineken Cup kicks off with the visit of Leinster...
With this year’s Heineken Cup just over a week away, Ospreys Chief Executive, Andrew Hore, met up with his Leinster counterpart in Dublin ahead of the opening weekend fixture between the two sides at the Liberty Stadium.
The three-times European champions, and reigning PRO12 champs, visit Ospreylia on Saturday 12th October for the opening fixture, and with a big crowd anticipated for the clash, Hore met up with Leinster Chief Executive, Michael Dawson, to hand over the Irish province’s ticket allocation for the game.
As is always the case with Leinster in European competition, a large travelling support is anticipated, helping to create what promises to be a red-hot atmosphere as two old rivals look to get their Heineken Cup campaign off to a flying start.
Speaking after the catch-up at the RDS Showground in Dublin, where he watched Leinster in action against the Blues before travelling west to Galway for Saturday night’s game against Connacht, Hore commented:
“The Heineken Cup is the pinnacle of club and regional rugby in the northern hemisphere and this year, for Ospreys fans in particular, it promises to be more exciting than ever.
“We’ve got a fantastic draw with some huge matches coming up. We’re in with the current French champions (Castres), Northampton who finished second in the Premiership last season and have spent big on recruitments over the summer, and we start off with a home game against a true giant in Leinster.
“With three Heineken Cup wins in the last five years, their European pedigree is unquestionable, and even last season they enjoyed fantastic success to win the PRO12 and the Amlin Cup. Leinster and ourselves have built up real rivalry with some fantastic matches in the PRO12 but this is the first time we’ve met in Europe and it’s a mouth-watering prospect.
“Leinster fans always travel in big numbers for Heineken Cup fixtures and we are looking forward to welcoming them to the Liberty for what is a huge match. As always, they will add character and colour to the event, but we are expecting our fans to get behind the cause in their own way and black out the Liberty on the night.
“It’s going to be quite an occasion.”
Hore added that his discussion in Dublin had shown a number of similarities between the Ospreys and Leinster, saying:
“We had a good discussion around team ethics and culture and it’s clear that our two organisations share similar views on what makes a successful sporting entity.
“Leinster have clearly worked hard at developing their culture, and combined with good financial support from their governing body have managed to achieve real success on and off the field, which is to be admired.”
Tickets for the game, plus the round four match against Castres in December and all remaining RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures in 2013 are available to purchase now from the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets and via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665.