Connacht hope to play a game in MacHale Park next season

The Castlebar ground's capacity is over double that of The Sportsground

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Connacht Rugby's hierarchy are hopeful that they will be able to play at least one of their games in Castlebar's MacHale Park next season.

The home of Mayo GAA has a substantially larger capacity than The Sportsgrounds and is only over an hour away from Galway. The move would be seen as a way of broadening support for the province in Sligo and Leitrim by making it more accessible for fans to travel to games.

Tickets for Connacht games have become more and more difficult to get this season. Tickets for the team's Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow sold out well over a week in advance of the game.

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

According to the Irish Independent, the province are in consultation with MacHale Park and Salthill's Pearse Stadium about hosting matches. Both venues are part of Ireland's bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"If something makes sense, we'll look at it. You can be pretty sure that there aren't too many stones that we haven't turned over to try and establish what might be feasible or not", Connacht CEO Willie Ruane admitted on Wednesday afternoon.

The province will only be allowed host matches in GAA's grounds if the rules of that association are changed. Currently, only Croke Park is allowed be used for football and rugby matches. If the rule is to be changed, the earlier it can happen is at the GAA Congress next February.