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Rugby fans scramble to swap tickets ahead of All Blacks clash

Prepared: Ireland captain Rory Best
Prepared: Ireland captain Rory Best

By JJ O'Donoghue

Hundreds of desperate rugby fans are scrambling for tickets for Ireland's quarter-final clash with the All Blacks in Tokyo on Saturday.

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Many had predicted Ireland would have topped Pool A and be facing South Africa on Sunday.

However, Japan's shock triumph over Ireland to top the pool now means Ireland fans are scrambling to swap their tickets with local supporters for Saturday's match against New Zealand.

While the organisers of the Rugby World Cup allow for ticket reselling on the official website, there is no guarantee that fans will be able to get their hands on tickets for the New Zealand game, so many have taken to the internet to organise "meet-ups" in Tokyo to exchange tickets.

More than 450 supporters are expected to attend one such event in central Tokyo tomorrow.

However, Will Ryan, co-owner of Irish pub An Solas in central Tokyo, cautioned fans to use the Rugby World Cup site to resell tickets.

"If I was an Irish person looking to exchange tickets I would go through the official ticket website. That's where I would be looking.

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"I think Japanese people are too conservative to meet up and just exchange tickets."

However, that hasn't put off many others from organising meet-ups.

Irish fan Rose Waldron from Co Offaly, who is flying into Tokyo today, managed to secure a ticket for the Ireland vs New Zealand showdown by swapping another quarter-final ticket with a Japanese fan.

"Luckily, I started my search for a ticket before the Pool A games were completed," she said.

Ahead of traveling to Japan, she organised a meet-up at the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Centre in central Tokyo for tomorrow to help fans exchange tickets.

"There's a lot of desperate fans out there," she said.

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