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Munster's support is 'an incredibly unique experience around the world'

Captain Peter O’Mahony highlighted the role the southern province’s fans played in last weekend’s victory over Gloucester.

O'Mahony leads the Munster players in applauding their fans last weekend.
O'Mahony leads the Munster players in applauding their fans last weekend.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

MUNSTER’S TRAVELLING SUPPORT has become legendary across the world of rugby in the professional era, and key men inside the province’s set-up believe the narrative will continue to grow.

The mini-takeover of ‘The Shed’ in the build-up to last weekend’s clash in Kingsholm against Gloucester was the latest of the loyal Munster fans’ exploits, with captain Peter O’Mahony highlighting its importance to his side’s ability to motivate themselves for the clash.

The fact that a possible home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup is out of the province’s hands means Munster fans may have to take to the road again on the first weekend of April. Head coach Rob Penney says their ongoing support would lessen the arduous nature of travelling.

Yes, it’s a special group, the Red Army. Everywhere we go, I think it’s an incredibly unique experience around the world. Having coached a lot in the Southern Hemisphere, there’s certainly nothing like the traveling support that Munster get.

“When you see other teams arriving into Munster and so forth, there’s not the numbers that Munster seem to generate around wherever they go. It’s a pretty special thing.”

Captain Peter O’Mahony is a man passionate about Munster’s history, even if he is focused on leading his own generation to writing new chapters. The Cork native recognised how important the province’s dedicated travelling troupe are to what happens on the pitch.

The 24-year-old cites last weekend’s victory in Gloucester as the perfect example.

“It’s not just this year, but they have been unreal for us all year. When we arrived to the ground and the Shed was 60% full of Munster fans in a place that would be renowned for a hostile environment from the home crowd; for that to be full of our fans not even close to kick off, it was an hour and a half before.

It was kind of bizarre and to be honest, it set the tone for us. We went into the dressing room and we said ‘This is going to be a special one.’ And that’s exactly what happened; it was a special day out for Munster.”

O’Mahony will be hoping that if Munster are indeed back on the road in April, those same supporters will be out in force again.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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