Six Nations Cities: Dublin

The Six Nations provides Europe’s best with an annual opportunity to renew rivalries and friendships in six appealing yet contrasting host cities.

The Six Nations provides Europe’s best with an annual opportunity to renew rivalries and friendships in six appealing yet contrasting host cities.

In a new series, take a look at what makes each of them so special, find out what the main attractions are and get some top tips about away day trips on matchday.

Next up, we head to Dublin – The Fair City, the capital of Ireland and, of course, the location of the Aviva Stadium, the venue for Ireland’s home games in Rugby’s Greatest Championship.

Main attractions   First things first, wrap up warm for a trip to Dublin where the wind blows and a rainshower is never far away.

There is so much to pack into a weekend in the Irish capital however, that you should never get a chance to feel the cold.

The Guinness storehouse is an absolute must-see with the highlight being a perfect pint of the black stuff in the 360 degree panoramic café at the end of the tour – with jawdropping views over the whole city.

The River Liffey runs through Dublin and a walk along its banks will take you into the heart of the city.

St Stephen’s Green – one of the largest enclosed city squares in Europe – is a hidden delight with fountains, foliage and fun wherever you look.

For a bit more culture, the Natural History Museum and the National Museum of Ireland are not to be missed as well.

And if you have a bit more time on your hand, why not get out of the city for a day trip and take a trip to the brutal and beautiful coast – Howth and Malahide are all well worth your time.   Transport advice   If flying into Dublin, fear not as the city centre is easily reached from the airport just 10km north.

Coaches and express buses run regularly while there is always a healthy taxi rank in operation.

Once in the city centre, your best bet for getting around is a Leap – the travel card that works across all public transport.

If you don’t opt for one of those, make sure you are well stocked with coins as notes are not accepted.

If out late at night then be prepared to take cabs as public transport becomes less readily accessible.   How to get to the ground   Close inspection of your ticket for an Ireland rugby game at the Aviva will tell you which coloured route to opt for once in the near vicinity.

The bus is often your best bet to get out to the ground, several Dublin bus routes head there from the city centre with the most convenient being the 1, 4, 18 and 47.

The Green Line Luas to Charlemont stop leaves you a 20-minute walk while the train (DART) to Lansdowne Road station will also be your friend.

A walk from the city centre is sizeable on matchday so leave at least 45 minutes to get yourself in position for kick off.   Top tips   When looking for places to stay in Dublin, in and around the canals is often your best bet.

‘What’s the craic?’ is an expression that will serve you well of an evening – it means ‘what’s up?’ but also will give you an idea of where the party is at.

And one last tip from the top – always order your Guinness first at the bar in a hefty round. They take a while to pour and need to be left to settle so let your barman get those sorted first before sorting out the rest of your round.   2019 fixtures   Ireland have two home games in the 2019 Six Nations and the first of them is a mouth-watering match-up with England.

On Saturday February 2 in round one, Eddie Jones’ side will be looking for revenge after Ireland’s victory at Twickenham earlier this year sealed an historic Grand Slam.

After that, in rounds two and three Ireland head to Edinburgh and Rome before returning home for round four and a clash with France.

It took a last-gasp drop goal from Jonathan Sexton to knock off Les Bleus in Paris last time they met and Sunday March 10, at 3pm will see hostilities renewed before Ireland finish their campaign in Cardiff on Super Saturday.   Three standout moments   Since its re-opening as the Aviva Stadium in 2010 – Ireland have enjoyed some famous days at what used to be called Lansdowne Road.

It did not get off to an auspicious start in the Six Nations as France downed them in the 2011 Championship in their first home game.

But they bounced back to down England 24-8 with Tommy Bowe once again England’s tormentor-in-chief.

Fast forward to 2014 and the first Championship of Joe Schmidt’s reign.

And it was the 26-3 win over reigning champions Wales that served notice of their title credentials.

And last year in 2017, Schmidt’s side paved the way for the Grand Slam this year by spoiling England’s party in the Dublin rain.

Iain Henderson scored the game’s only try as they handed Eddie Jones’ side the first defeat of his reign with a 13-9 victory that denied England a Grand Slam.