The Aviva Stadium, Dublin’s newest sporting venue is this week hosting three separate competitive international matches. Two of these are Soccer internationals with the Carling Nations Cup kicking off on Tuesday night with a game between Ireland and Wales followed by Northern Ireland versus Scotland on Wednesday night.
However, the big game of the week is in the Rugby Union Six nations Championship where Ireland take on France on Sunday.
It is rare enough that there would be two international games in Dublin on the same week but none of us here can recollect atime previously whe there were three. Consequently, we have seen a huge surge in enquiries for hotels near the aviva stadium over the last few days.
If Ireland are successful on Sunday, then we expect a similar level of interest for Ireland against England on Saturday march 19th!
As the chance of a historic treble for 14 Munster Rugby players gets closer, yesterday saw the emergence of a possible 2009Quadruple for 8 of them.
For Paul O’Connell and 7 of his Munster team mates, there is an opportunity to take home 4 major honours this year;
Having already won the 6-Nations Grand Slam with Ireland, they are hot favourites for the Magners League and have taken a step closer to retaining the Heineken Cup.
If they overcome Leinster in the semifinal of that competition and go on to win the Final on May 23rd, 8 of the team depart for the Lions Tour of South Africa the next day already having achieved a historic Treble.
Then comes the chance to cap it off by winning the Lions Tour test series against the Springboks….What a year it would be!
Following the historic success of Ireland in the 6 nations last weekend, the vision in Munster Rugby circles has switched to dreams of a Treble for so many of the Munster players.
This is not to disrespect in any way whatsoever the achievement of Ireland and the contribution of non-Munster players. In fact it was a source of great pride to see the national team play as one again and dispelling talk of internal cliques.
The reality is, however, that for 11 Munster players who played for Ireland during the 2009 6 nations championship there is an opportunity to complete an unprecedented treble this year.
1. The Grand-Slam has already been done with Ireland
2. They are leading the Magners League
3. They have qualified for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup and are currently 7-4 favourites to retain it with PaddyPower
Retaining the Heineken Cup will not be easy and they have some difficult games ahead of them but they never had it easy either in 2006 or 2008 when they emerged victorious. Now that the stereotype of the Irish good loser has been blown away for ever, the sky is the limit!