This is a common subject at this time of the year, so here is a sticky thread with information for people looking for it. Someone suggested this sticky, I thought it was a good idea.
Are tickets hard to get?
Games against England, France, New Zealand, Australia: Very difficult for Joe Public. Likely to have to know someone or just get lucky.
Games against Wales, Argentina, South Africa: Pretty difficult. Very few end up on ticketmaster, but more than the teams above.
Games against Scotland, Italy, Tier Two nations: There are usually some Scotland tickets on Ticketmaster come Six Nations time but not a whole lot. Italy is usually ok to get tickets for but a lot of the tickets in the Six Nations are sold in a package. Tier Two teams (in the Autumn) are usually easy to get tickets for and often don't come close to selling out.
What are the options for getting a ticket?
The main ways to get a ticket are:
- Through a rugby club
- Through the IRFU supporters club
- Provincial lottery
Rugby Club - you'll have to join a club or know someone in a club to have any chance here. Most clubs will sell their allocation to members easily, and there'll be none left over for public sale. If you are buying through a club expect to pay more than face value for the ticket as clubs will add on an extra charge to help with the running of their club. Clubs generally get a mixture of category A and category B tickets. Some clubs will not sell individual tickets and will only sell them in a block of all the games in that series (or even all the games in that season).
IRFU Supporters club - costs 50 quid a year per-person and gives you access to a relatively small number of tickets for matches. You are not guaranteed a ticket for being a member, nor are you guaranteed to even get offered for any particular game. I've never got a ticket this way, but I've heard in the past that the seats offered may not be great. They generally do not have a good variety of tickets available. For the Six Nations the tickets usually become available late November / early December.
Provincial lottery - each province gets an allocation of tickets to distribute to it's season ticket holders. The number of season ticket holders outnumbers the number of tickets by a LOT. This option just comes down to pure luck. They generally do not have a good variety of tickets (they may only have expensive seats or they may only have the cheap seats).
Ticketmaster - they get the remainder to sell. For Italy and Scotland at home you will usually get a ticket if you log on at the right time. For the tier two Autumn game tickets are easily found. For other fixtures it really is just pure luck of being online at the right time. In recent years the IRFU have bundled tickets for games so there were hardly any individual tickets for individual matches. This means for example if you wanted to buy the New Zealand game you had to also buy a ticket to Canada.
Tickets are also held back for sponsors, partners, schools, competitions etc etc.
Where should I sit?
Firstly, you are likely to have little to no choice in your ticket, especially for the bigger games. However, if you do get a choice then read on.
Tickets are usually broken into category A and B. Category A tickets are more expensive than category B. In general category A is along the side of the pitch and category B is behind the goals and in the corners. This excludes premium and corporate level tickets.
The actual seat is just pure luck. Some category B seats are better than some category A seats, it all comes down to your preference. For example, a seat in the upper tier in the corner about 10 rows back is a better seat than row A in the lower deck on the half way line. You will get a far better view of the game.
In my opinion the first 10-15 rows of the upper tier provide the best view in the house. The lower tier has you closer to the action but the lower rows of this tier are so low that you'll lose all sense of depth with action on the other side of the field to you. You will find yourself watching the screens for significant portions of the game. The lower tier is very shallow, the upper tier a lot steeper.
Premium level - what's that?
This is the middle tier in the stadium. The views are good, the seats are padded and more spaced out. The queues at the bar tend to be smaller because there are less people.
They are also more expensive.
Tickets for away games
To my knowledge the IRFU generally don't get involved in away ticket sales. If you want to attend an away Six Nations match the tickets are usually bought through the home union or travel partners / hospitality partners (expect to pay through the arse).