Kingsholm will host England A against Ireland A next year
KINGSHOLM has been named as England A's official home for the 2005/6 season.
Gloucester Rugby will host the A team international between England and Ireland on March 17 - St Patrick's Day - and on the same day as the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The club is fast becoming the second home to England's junior set-up this season after Gloucester successfully held England's Under-19s international against Australia Schools that attracted a crowd of more than 3,000 and attracted a sell-out gate for the Under-21s last year.
Some of the biggest stars in the Guinness Premiership will be on show for what promises to be a huge evening for rugby fans.
"What can I say, it's simply a fantastic honour to host a game of this size," said Gloucester's managing director Ken Nottage. "After a full international, this is the biggest game we could possible host - and it will be in front of the most passionate club followers in the game.
"This promises to be a great night for Gloucester Rugby, our supporters and for international rugby fans. We have close links with the Irish, particularly following our recent matches against Munster in the Heineken Cup, and those games were also great occasions here at Kingsholm.
"This promises to be another and I hope that it is supported as such."
England A and National Academy coach John Wells told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk "Gloucester will be an idea venue for this England A versus Ireland A game, with their enthusiastic rugby fans I expect some vocal support on the night.
"Having hosted England Under-21s so well in the past, I am sure the club will do us proud."
Chris Spice, Rugby Football Union performance director, added: "England representative matches have been incredibly successful at Kingsholm in the past and the crowd always provides a great welcome. We will be looking forward to the same on St Patrick's Day."
It will be a marvellous week of sporting action for the people of Gloucestershire as the game coincides with the end of the Cheltenham Festival on Gold Cup day.
Tens of thousands of Irish fans will already be in the county and can conclude a sport-frenzied action with the A international at Kingsholm.
Gloucester Rugby are reserving a ticket for all of their season ticket holders until 3.30pm on Friday, December 30. 5,000 tickets will be put immediately on general sale with the quickest access to them online through www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
From 1st January, 2006, all remaining unsold tickets will be released on general sale.
The tickets have again been priced competitively in the hope of attracting a sell-out crowd. Priced below the usual prices for a Guinness Premiership match, the tickets offer great value for money. The prices, with an early booking discount included, are:
Gold Seats - on the half way line - £30
Silver Seats - in the main grandstand - £25
Buildbase Stand - Adult £20, Concession £16, Junior £10
Terracing (inc SHED) - Adult £15, Concession £10, Junior £6.
All Season Ticket Holders will receive a further £2* discount on the listed prices during the reservation period. *please note that a junior terracing ticket will be £5 for season ticket holders.
The early booking scheme runs out on Thursday 16 March at 17:00. After this date, all tickets will increase a further £2.
Tickets are available from www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk, the ticket hotline on 0871 871 8781 or from the ticket office at Kingsholm for the game that kicks-off at 7.45pm and is live on Sky TV.
The opening hours are as follows. From 9am until 5pm Monday to Wednesday, from 9am until 6.30pm on Thursday and until 3.30pm on a Friday.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Billy Burns was a try scorer on his first European start for Gloucester and, speaking after the game, admitted that it was good to get the five points although there are still things to work on before the trip to Brive.
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.
Connacht's 30-20 win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening means that they are the third best placed runners up and will come to Kingsholm for the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in early April.