Schmidt wary of England threat as he plots glory in final ChampionshipJoe Schmidt believes next Saturday’s curtain-raiser against England could ruin his last Championship in charge as Ireland begin their Guinness…
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Ireland played their first Six Nations home games at Aviva Stadium in 2011, following the opening of the venue in May 2010.
The stadium, which boasts a 57,100 capacity, sits on the site of Irish rugby’s former home Lansdowne Road, which was demolished for rebuilding in 2007.
Unlike Lansdowne Road, which was solely owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union, Aviva Stadium is jointly owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Football Association of Ireland.
The first rugby match played in July 2010 at the stadium was a combination of Leinster and Ulster Under-18 and Under-20 players against their Munster and Connacht counterparts – the former romped to a 68-0 victory.
The first international rugby fixture played at Aviva Stadium was in November 2010 with Ireland welcoming South Africa for the first of four autumn games.
Unfortunately for Ireland they were narrowly beaten by the Springboks, losing 23-21, despite Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney running in late tries.
Following the demolition of Lansdowne Road, Ireland temporarily played their home games at Croke Park – headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association – until construction of the stadium was complete.
Aviva Stadium hosted its first European Rugby Champions Cup final in May 2013, ten years after Lansdowne Road last hosted it, as an all-French clash saw RC Toulon edge past ASM Clermont Auvergne 16-15.