THE prize need not be explained, the build-up has been far from ideal, but Munster can restore all faith with a victory over Ulster in a titanic tussle in Thomond Park this Easter Sunday.
A complete sell-out, tickets are like gold dust and changing hands for huge money this week for the match, which kicks off at 1.45pm on Sunday lunchtime.
Much to the relief of fans everywhere, Munster’s totemic figures, O’Connell, Murray and Ryan - struck down by injury in recent weeks - seem set to return to the starting line-up, while Limerick’s own Mike Sherry is set to start at hooker for the clash.
Ulster Rugby have taken their full complement of tickets for Thomond Park - some 6,400 to be exact - and may travel in even greater numbers, leading to the biggest travelling support to come to the city since Thomond Park was redeveloped.
Hoteliers have reported close to full occupancy levels and publicans have secured early opening hours before the clash. A city-wide exemption, granted by the generous Judge Eamon O’Brien in the District Court last week, will allow them to open at 10.30am this Sunday.
The stage is set for a mouth--watering clash; to the victor go the spoils.
*For full coverage of the big match against Ulster see this weekend’s Limerick Leader, which boasts a bumper 48-page sports package and special Heineken Cup quarter-final supplement free with the newspaper