Ireland v New Zealand: Irish fans desperately seeking ticket swaps

Many Irish fans bought tickets in anticipation of being in the ‘other quarter-final’

Micheál McAvoy (right) swapping tickets with a Japanese fan. Photograph via the Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum Facebook page

Hundreds if not thousands of Irish fans are in Toyko with tickets for the wrong quater final match this weekend.

When the draw was first made many Irish fans were confident Ireland would top their pool and were likely to face South Africa in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup.

However, Ireland's unexpected defeat to an inspirational Japan team has left supporters of both teams frantically looking to swap tickets for this weekend's quarter-finals between Ireland and New Zealand on Saturday and Japan and South Africa on Sunday.

One of lucky Irish fans is Micheál McAvoy from Newry who has been in Japan for a month.

Irish and Japanese rugby fans swap tickets. Photograph via the Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum Facebook page

He had a ticket for the Japan and South Africa match on Sunday that he was looking to exchange.

He put up his request on Twitter on Monday. He then saw that a Japanese supporter, with a ticket for the Saturday match, had done the same thing.

The pair corresponded via direct message on Twitter and agreed to meet in Tokyo to exchange.

Mr McAvoy said he is aware of other Irish fans who got tickets for the match by swapping with Japanese fans.

“He gave me a Starbuck’s address and we swapped the tickets there and then, done and dusted,” he said.

“A lot of people are going to get sorted, but there is going to be a lot of Irish at the match on Sunday. The sheer volume of Irish people who have tickets for the match is outweighing the actual tickets that are available.

“There seems to be a lot of people looking for tickets. I know there are people who are going outside the stadium tomorrow in the hope that they can persuade the Japanese to swap with them.

“Then there aren’t a lot of Japanese with tickets either. A lot of the All-Blacks have swooped them up.”

Aoife Downey managed to get tickets for herself and a friend for tomorrow's match from a "lovely Japanese man".

However, she added: “There are three others looking to swap as well but haven’t had much luck yet.”

Her friend Dave Burson has put out a notice on Twitter in both Japanese and English saying he has tickets for the Japan match on Sunday and wants to swap.

He has already received a response from one Japanese fan stating that he has the tickets Mr Burson wants.

Ireland’s match against New Zealand is in the Tokyo Stadium starting at 11.15am Irish time (7.15pm local time)

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times