AN EMOTIONAL Munster captain Peter O’Mahony choked back the tears at UL as he paid an emotional tribute to the province’s head coach Anthony Foley who passed away suddenly on Sunday.
Munster are set to play their first fixture since Foley passed away in Paris last weekend when hosting Glasgow Warriors in a Champions Cup clash at Thpomond Park on Saturday, 1pm.
With 17,700 match tickets sold for the game by yesterday, Wednesday morning, Saturday’s Pool 1 fixture is expected to be a 26,000 sell-out as Munster fans pay their own tribute to Munster’s first European Cup winning captain.
Anthony Foley will be laid to rest in Killaloe on Friday following funeral Mass.
Peter O’Mahony said: “My first game that he coached me at Munster was an U-20 game at Thomond Park, we won it 3-0 and that suited Axel as good as if we’d won it by 70. He wanted to win for Munster at any cost.
“I’m not going to do him justice here, personally he meant a huge amount. He’s been there, I haven’t supported a Munster team that he wasn’t involved in. The amount he’s given the club, it can’t be calculated.
“I was lucky he was in my position as well, the knowledge he could give to me. At times it was frustrating because he was such a good footballer, he found it difficult to understand that we couldn’t’ see what he could.
“The amount we’ve lost now that he’s gone, the rugby knowledge; the man, the coach and the friend, it’s huge.”
Competition organisers EPCR said the decision to go ahead with Saturday’s game was made after close consultation with the Munster management.
EPCR has requested that a minute's silence or a minute's applause in Anthony's memory be observed at all Round 2 matches in the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup.