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Glasgow Warriors in Dublin for their biggest game ever

THOUSANDS of rugby fans are making their way to Dublin to see Glasgow Warriors take part in the biggest game in the club's history.

GOOD LUCK: Scott McLean Milliken, Euan Barclay and Stephen Chalk from Paisley's Moss Vale and St James Primaries  wished the team well.
GOOD LUCK: Scott McLean Milliken, Euan Barclay and Stephen Chalk from Paisley's Moss Vale and St James Primaries wished the team well.

Supporters are travelling by air, land and sea to watch the Glasgow side take on Leinster Rugby in the ­Rabo-Direct PRO12 final.

Some fans travelled to Dublin yesterday, with more expected to arrive today, while the Glasgow Warriors squad flew out on a ­chartered flight yesterday morning with the club's back room staff and sponsors.

This is the first time a ­Scottish club has competed in the final and supporter Robert Stewart, chairman of the XVIth Warrior supporters' club, said fans were looking forward to a great day.

He said: "This is the biggest game we'll have seen the Warriors in so it's fair to say it's massive. It's the first chance any Scottish team has had of getting silverware. A big part of the rugby scene is getting away and mixing with other fans so we're really looking forward to it.

"There's a big contingency of fans flying out and others are driving, taking the ferry to Belfast then driving to Dublin. And there are fans coming from Newcastle and elsewhere in the UK.

"There are also a lot of ex-pats who will be tuning in to watch the game. We're hopeful that the team can do it.

"Obviously Leinster has more experience in the final, but it could just be that our time has come."

Mr Stewart and five other committee members from the supporters' club are flying out from Edinburgh this morning, before heading to the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, the location of the official fan zone.

He added: "We'll be meeting up with thousands of other fans at the Ballsbridge before heading to the RDS arena later in the day where the warriors have their own fan section.

"We're also meeting up with the Leinster supporters' club after the match to exchange a plaque to commemorate the game.

"Hopefully we'll be celebrating rather than commiserating.

"We're staying overnight and coming back on Sunday - and hopefully our heads won't be too sore on the flight back."

A spokeswoman for the Ballsbridge Hotel confirmed the hotel was fully booked out by rugby fans last night and it is the same again tonight.

She added: "From midday we're hosting the official fan zone, there will be food and drink on offer, a BBQ and a live DJ.

"We're expecting to fill our main ballroom which holds around 2000, but we'll be squeezing bars in around the hotel wherever we can find space. I expect it's going to get a bit manic, but the atmosphere will be great.

"We're just three minutes away from the RDS so it's really handy for all the fans.

"We're really well known for hosting rugby fans so we hope everyone enjoys what we have to offer and has a great day."

Hundreds of fans who are not making the journey to Dublin are expected to watch the match broadcast on a big screen in Glasgow's Merchant Square.

The game - which kicks off at 6.15pm - will also be shown live on BBC Alba and BBC2 Scotland.

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