50,000 fans in a frenzy as Blues go for five in a row
UP TO 50,000 Leinster fans will descend upon the Aviva stadium tonight for their team's clash against Munster in the Magners League.
The Blues have won their last four matches against their arch rivals -- and Leinster fans will be hoping to watch their team make it five in a row for the first time since the 1930s.
Hundreds of supporters have been queuing to get the team's new strip this week and the Leinster Rugby Store has been inundated with supporters since match tickets went on sale there two weeks ago.
Store manager David Hoban said more than 250 match tickets were sold at the store on Thursday for the game at the Aviva stadium, and only a handful were remaining.
"It's been absolutely crazy. At home match days when we were in the RDS we had our own store down there and people would have bought jerseys on the day.
"But now Leinster fans, instead of buying them on match days in the RDS, they buy them before the match here.
"There's a third jersey now, and people are buying it and everything from hats, jackets, even new flags. They're all a federal blue, which is a rich royal blue."
The entire D4 area is brimming with excitement, and hundreds of fans are lining up to buy the third jersey, according to the manager.
"We usually sell around 20 a day, but today we've sold 50 jerseys and we're selling way more polo shirts, stadium jackets and rain jackets. We started selling the tickets two weeks ago, and that's when things got busy.
"Supporters have been buzzing. There's a great sense of anticipation, all over Donnybrook and the city."
Leinster communications manager Peter Breen said entertainment would be provided at the game for families, in the form of mini-rugby, face painting and activities at half time.
He added: "There'll be a surprise element to it. We've been doing it for many years, doing family days and giving big encouragement for junior members of families to attend. The gates are open at six and entertainment will be going around as usual."
Meanwhile, the Horse Show House in Ballsbridge is closing off its car park to install a Guinness marquee with live entertainment.
Manager Eamonn Conlon said: "We'd consider ourselves the official headquarters of the Leinster Supporters Club and we're in the centre of D4.
"We're all very excited about it.
"It's a very important league game and we're working very hard to achieve that."
Iarnrod Eireann explained that additional Dart services would be provided for supporters, especially after the match, though a spokeswoman could not say what frequency they would be working to.
"We have extra sets available and we will have ample capacity to cope," she said.