Munster Fans Blown Away By Incredible Racing 92 Gesture
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This is what rugby is all about.
October 16th, 2016 is a day we will never forget. Munster were set to open up their Champions Cup account with a mouth-watering clash with Racing 92 in Paris. It was set to be a magical occasion with Ronan O’Gara set to go up against his former teammates for the first time.
Munster were fired up and ready to once again make a mark in Europe with their new coaching team of Anthony Foley and Rassie Erasmus but unfortunately we never saw that happen, and we never will.
Text messages started filtering in around Munster a couple of hours before the official announcement, rumours that something was wrong. No one believed it, but unfortunately it was true. Munster’s head coach and former captain, Anthony Foley, was found dead in his hotel room.
The game was cancelled as tributes poured in for one of Ireland’s greatest rugby heroes. A stunning few months has now seen a Munster rising take place in honour of Foley and now it’s almost time to finally play that postponed fixture.
Heading into that original game Munster were huge underdogs, fast forward to now and they are fighting at the top with Racing already dumped out. Regardless of that, the game is going to be special on January 7th and Racing 92 fans cemented that last month.
Munster fans must now travel to Paris again, but this time, Racing fans offered to help. To east the financial burden of a second trip Racing 92 fans kindly offered to open up their homes for the travelling Munster faithful.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Ian Buckley, secretary of Munster Rugby Supporters Club said they are ‘blown away’ by the incredible gesture.
“We are absolutely blown away by it. As a supporters club, we are deeply appreciative of the offer, we don’t even have the words to express our gratitude to Racing supporters,”
In the wake of the offer, the Munster Rugby Supporters Club Committee made contact with members of their club who have purchased tickets for the game through the club “to marry up persons who wish to avail of this caring and touching gesture”.
A number of people, Ian said, have taken up the offer.
Members of the committee who are travelling to the game are to meet up with some of the host families to personally thank them, and Munster Rugby have given them a signed team jersey to present to their supporters club as a thank you from all the members of the MRSC.
“When the offer came in from Racing we, as a committee, were absolutely blown away by it,” said Ian.
“It’s different to being put up in a hotel – to invite us into their homes shows the whole human side to it and it brought home to us how much respect that people had in world rugby for Axel for a start and then for Munster fans as well,” Ian continued.
“One of our representatives will be going over and presenting a signed shirt to our counterparts in Racing on Saturday. We believe from Racing’s side that they are trying to get as many people as they can from both sides to welcome in both teams into the stadium on Saturday. It’s in the early stages but hopefully it will work out.”
“The fact of the matter is that if people hadn’t been aware of how Munster fans behave themselves when they are abroad or even at home, then such an offer wouldn’t have come about. It’s testament to how those supporters carry themselves when they are abroad that such an offer would even be considered.”
In is anticipated that up to 1,000 Munster supporters will travel to Saturday’s game.