Friendly rivalry ignited ahead of Wasps vs Leinster clash

Loyalties will be divided in one significant household when Irish rugby fans hit Coventry at the weekend.

If Wasps are able to produce a bonus point win against three-time European Champions Cup winners Leinster on home soil, they would secure a spot in April’s quarter-finals of the prestigious competition. A win should be enough, anything else would leave them sweating.

With one of European rugby's major forces en route to the Ricoh Arena, keen to set the record straight after their first leg defeat, Wasps have a massive 80 minutes ahead of them as they try to secure a spot in the last eight.

The Four Provinces, an Irish pub on Allesley Old Road just outside Coventry city centre, is preparing for an Irish invasion and are expecting to serve hundreds of fans before and after the big match.

But for manager Alex Ceairns the repercussions of the game could last far beyond match day.

Alex, aged 29 from Coundon, said: “There’s always a great atmosphere whenever Irish fans are in town, so we’re expecting there to be a real buzz in the city this weekend.

“I’m a local lad so I will be supporting Wasps, although our resident DJ is a Leinster fan and my wife is Irish, so they both want a Leinster win. There’s nothing I’d love more than to see Wasps get through so that we can have another big quarter-final day in April, even though it might lead to a little domestic grief.

“We tend to get a crowd of die-hard Wasps fans that pop by on a match day on their way up to the Ricoh, and with the Leinster supporters keeping them company those numbers will easily double.

“The party will really get going after the match with both sets of fans coming together to create a jovial atmosphere. Come closing time on Saturday, I reckon we’ll have poured over 400 pints.”

Leinster will be looking to avenge November’s 33-6 European Champions Cup home defeat to Wasps when Dai Young’s men put on a defensive masterclass.

Wasps will look to call upon the services of England internationals including Matt Mullan and new EPS call-up Elliot Daly.

Leinster fan Liam Davin, aged 21 from Keresley, who is resident DJ at The Four Provinces and is attending Saturday’s game with friends, added: “I’ve supported Leinster my whole life because of my family roots, so I can’t wait to watch them right on my doorstep. Most of my mates are Wasps fans, but the pints will be in full flow if Leinster win!”

The Four Provinces Pub is a family-friendly venue that has been at the heart of Coventry’s Irish community since 1965.

Best mates Alex Ceairns and Martin Ryan took over the Chapelfields pub in 2014. The venue hosts a variety of activities from up-and-coming music bands to Irish dancing lessons.

Martin Fallon, Marketing Manager for Wasps, said: “This is our biggest game of the season so far and we know there is going to be plenty of friendly rivalry between supporters at the Ricoh Arena.

“I am sure that will be replicated by customers at The Four Provinces, as we all look forward to this crunch European tie for Wasps.”

Tickets for Wasps v Leinster are available from £15 for adults and under-10s go free and are available from the Ricoh Arena or by ringing 024 7678 6411.