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Ireland U20s to play Six Nations games at Cork's Musgrave Park

Noel McNamara’s side host England and France in next year’s championship.

THE IRFU HAS announced that Ireland U20s will play their home games during next year’s Six Nations at Cork’s Musgrave Park, while the Ireland women’s team will remain at Donnybrook. 

Noel McNamara’s U20s will host England on the opening weekend of the championship, before welcoming France to the Cork venue in round four.

A view of the completed modified 3G pitch in Irish Independent Park Cork's Musgrave Park. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The switch from Donnybrook — where Ireland had played their home fixtures for the last number of years since moving from Dubarry Park in Athlone — was no doubt facilitated by the installation of a new 3G playing surface at Musgrave Park. 

As part of the ground’s redevelopment, Munster replaced the grass pitch with an artificial one during the summer in addition to the construction of a new 3,500-seater stand and covered terrace in 2015. 

The capacity of the ground, which was used by Munster for their two pre-season fixtures as well as last week’s Guinness Pro14 victory over Ospreys, is just over 8,000.

It will be the first time Six Nations rugby is played in Cork, with the IRFU to announce dates, kick-off times and ticket information in due course.

Ireland women, meanwhile, will continue to play their home fixtures at Donnybrook having enjoyed a strong record at the Dublin venue since moving there from Ashbourne in 2016.

Adam Griggs’ side have recorded four wins from six Six Nations outings at the ground and will look to make the most of their home advantage when they host USA at Donnybrook on 18 November. 

Ireland will then continue their preparations for the Six Nations with a second November international, against England at Twickenham on 24 November, in a match that will precede the men’s international between England and Australia. 

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Ryan Bailey

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