Rosslare bracing itself for invasion of travelling fans

ROSSLARE will be teeming with people this weekend as Leinster rugby supporters make their way to Cardiff in the hope that Wexford's Gordon D'Arcy (pictured) and teammates can lift the Heineken Cup.

Stena Line is carrying passenger levels next weekend not seen since an Icelandic volcano unleashed a troublesome ash cloud over Europe as the blue army march on Cardiff for the big match.

Eamonn Fortune of Stena Line's Travel Centre in Rosslare Harbour said that they are fully booked for their Friday and Saturday morning 9 a.m. sailings, carrying 1,300 passengers on each.

Thought these sailings are sold out, there is room left on the 9.15 p.m. sailing on Friday night, which will involve in a return trip in the early hours of Monday morning.

Currently the majority of fans will be returning on a sold-out 2.30 p.m. sailing on Sunday, hopefully have toasted a Leinster victory over Northampton the previous night.

The Stena Europe ferry takes three and a half hours to 'cross the pond' and once it reaches Fishguard there are trains available to Cardiff. Many of the foot passengers on the ferry are availing of this 'Sail & Rail' option, which is just €72 return.

Arriving in the Welsh port at 12.30 p.m. there is a train to Cardiff an hour later, arriving in the city at 4.05 p.m. - which will be plenty of time before kick-off on Saturday. Plenty more fans are travelling in cars and on coaches.

' We have been surprised by the demand for places on the ship for the weekend and we currently have more passengers booked than we had travel for the Six Nations match back in February,' said Eamonn. ' We've just been inundated with people.'

Eamonn said it would have been even busier had Munster not lost their Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final to Harlequins, as that final is on Friday night.

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