The Interprovincial clashes between Ulster and Munster, and Leinster and Connacht, on the 28th December, have been cancelled, on the advice of the IRFU’s Director of Fitness. The cancellations stem from the heavy fixture congestion of the past few months, which has seen Six Nations matches, the Celtic League and a friendly against the All Blacks.

The Director of Fitness, Dr Liam Hennessy, felt that the best possible preparation for the Irish provinces and the Irish National Squad in the lead into the resumption of European competitions and the Six Nations, was a period of rest, recovery and maintenance over the next two weeks.

The coaches of Ulster and Munster have agreed that a friendly fixture will take place instead of the Interprovincial, at the same time, date and venue (on Friday 28th December with kick off at Ravenhill for 7.30pm). Michael Reid, CEO of the Ulster Branch, commented “Whilst hugely disappointing for players and fans alike, the match will give Coach Alan Solomons a chance to give his full team a run out prior to the Heineken Cup pool games in January.”

Tickets for the original Interprovincial game will remain valid for the friendly match, but pricing policy for the new fixture will be in line with friendlies of this stature. Should anyone wish to avail of a refund, they can do so by going to Ravenhill only from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday – Friday of this week, and Thursday 27th and Friday 28th December.

Filed by John Raftery