It has been announced that Ulster's Champions Cup match against La Rochelle will be played at the RDS on Saturday evening instead of Belfast. In spite of the fact that many people are disappointed, this decision was made due to safety concerns regarding the playing surface.
Ulster's CEO reacted after this decision. Surely he is not satisfied. “EPCR can now confirm that Ulster Rugby have elected to play the match at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. The match in Pool B will be played as scheduled tomorrow (Saturday 17 December) with an unchanged kick-off of 17.30 (local time),” said Ulster in a statement, as quoted by rugbypass.com.
“Regrettably, because of issues with logistics, as well as concerns regarding health and safety due to the timing of the venue change, the match will be staged behind closed doors with no access for supporters. Following close consultation between Ulster Rugby and EPCR in recent days, and despite the efforts of Kingspan Stadium ground staff, the decision was taken to move the fixture as Kingspan Stadium’s playing surface were deemed unsafe due to the freezing conditions in Belfast”.
Fans of the clubs will have a chance to watch this match, which has attracted a lot of attention. “Live television coverage will be as scheduled on BT Sport, beIN Sports, France Télévisions, SuperSport and FloRugby, and EPCR would like to thank all stakeholders for their understanding and co-operation”.
Ulster CEO Jonny Petrie thinks this is 'shameful' and is disappointed by such decisions which will do them no good. Ulster CEO Jonny Petrie wrote on Twitter: “Standing in the middle of a firm but playable pitch Kingspan Stadium just now.
Frustrated doesn’t even come close to covering how I feel right at this moment, if I’m honest. Such a shame for all Ulster Rugby supporters, players and staff.