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Ulster Rugby CEO hits out at decision to move La Rochelle game to Dublin


Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie has argued that the pitch at Kingspan Stadium is playable despite the game against La Rochelle being moved.

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin will host Ulster’s game against La Rochelle today after the pitch was deemed to be unplayable at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, despite the province’s efforts throughout the week.

Supporters will not be permitted to attend the game at the Aviva Stadium due to issues with logistics, as well as concerns over spectator health and safety due to the timing of the venue change.

All ticket holders for the game will be contacted in regards to refunds next week, while Ulster will be forced to play a crucial Heineken Champions Cup game without their home supporters.

Jonny Petrie hits out at decision to move Ulster’s game.

Jonny Petrie, CEO of Ulster Rugby, took to Twitter to express his frustration with the decision to move the game to the Aviva Stadium at short notice.

“Standing in the middle of a firm but playable pitch at Kingspan Stadium just now. Frustrated doesn’t even come close to covering how I feel right at this moment, if I’m honest,” Petrie tweeted.

“Such a shame for all Ulster Rugby supporters, players and staff.”

Kick off time is unchanged.

Ulster’s meeting with La Rochelle will still kick off at 5.30pm today, with BT Sport 1 airing the game live for viewers in Ireland and the UK.

The change of venue is far from ideal for Ulster, as they already face an uphill battle to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions Cup after a dismal opening loss to Sale Sharks, and will now face the reigning champions without home support.

La Rochelle got their title defence off to a perfect start last weekend as they claimed a 46-12 win against Northampton Saints.

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