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Away Days

Don’t forget the toothbrush: six trips to take in 2011.

Paul Ring books the flights, packs the suitcase and heads for the airport ahead of the biggest sports trips this year.

Rugby World Cup

Yes its miles away, and its about 63 different time zones but it’s a World Cup and we are in.

No play-offs, Sepp Blatter or Henry here, just 15 proud Irish lads trying to make amends for the unmitigated disaster that was France ‘07. Whilst I have never visited New Zealand I have watched Lord of the Rings and those sweeping hills were the only thing not computer generated.

Though they are a few in Dublin who may suggest that Kevin Mealamu and Tana Umaga were the orc extras.

Trevor Brennan rugby tours are running four different tours, each catered for specific needs. This official New Zealand site has all the fixtures available for downloading and offers advice on sights and planning a possible road trip.

The Qantas site is your best bet for booking flights.

Champions league final

It’s London calling for the biggest club game on the planet this May.

It could possibly be a London side in the final with Spurs and Chelsea both having a good chance of progressing from their last-16 ties. Arsenal are playing Barcelona.

If comfort isn’t a prerequisite to travel then Ryanair are best for flights. It’s very reasonably priced though that will change…now.

Tickets will go on sale in March through the UEFA website. When we find out just who Barca are going to beat in the final then both clubs will get a batch of tickets to release.

British Open

Despite the fact it is the only major outside of the United States, The Open remains the most coveted.

Sure, listening to the dulcet tones of Peter Aliss is relaxing on a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon, but it is only in the flesh that you can appreciate just how much Tiger spits.

If you strain your ears you may even hear the odd expletive. Tickets can be bought now.

Assuming an Icelandic volcano doesn’t burp, both Ryanair and Aer Lingus can be relied upon for flights. Trains leave from London to Kent. This handy journey planner also has links to affordable hotels in the area. Fore!


Yet again it is to our dear neighbours we travel.

This time to see if Rafa can finally rid himself of that wedgie or if Rodger is sporting another garish cardigan. Meanwhile in the women’s side of things Serena may agree to give the slam to Venus this year in exchange for the remote.

The ballot for tickets has closed, but up to 500 are available during days one to nine of the championship at the courts. Tickets will also become available during the championship through the Ticketmaster website. All details here.

Alternatively you can watch the action from Henman Hill which supposedly is Murray’s Molehill now.

Formula One

Last year was a great season for F1, a constant stream of exciting races, colourful incident and a grid packed with talent.

The calendar is brimming with exotic destinations to get your motor fix but we’ve plumped for Valencia. It is the European Grand Prix after all and would be the perfect place to sit back and wonder whether that noise is a wasp or Schumacher.

Tickets are as pricey or cheap as you want, while Ryanair operate flights to Valencia from Dublin.

Tour de France

Cycling doesn’t immediately jump out as an obvious spectator sport. But than again neither does Formula One.

The tour last year was electrified by the duel between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck. There is a handy guide here.

The grand start will be in Vendee this year. If you’re hardcore you should fly to Nantes and cycle there.