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IRFU braced for massive Aviva no-show

By Niall Crozier

Irish rugby chiefs are bracing themselves for another PR disaster with the spectre of an almost empty Aviva stadium hanging over tomorrow's autumn international against Samoa.

Last Saturday night's three-quarter capacity crowd of 35,517 for the defeat by South Africa is likely to be further diminished by a controversial and self defeating ticket pricing policy.

Many fans, forced to buy £130 ‘joint' tickets for the South Africa and Samoa games, have signalled their intention not to turn up, in protest.

A complete rethink on ticket pricing structures, called for by Ireland's latest 100-cap ace Ronan O'Gara, is now on the cards, though it will come too late to save face tomorrow.

Cash-strapped clubs across Ireland are also up in arms at being forced to buy highly-priced autumn series tickets they won't use, for fear of having their Six Nations allocations cut.

O’Gara struck a chord with them all as he asserted: “The whole economic situation has affected people really badly and is probably only going to get worse.

“It’s reality and is something everyone has to look at in terms of getting pricing right.”

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