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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Former Munster scrum-half Stringer to join Europe's elite

The Bath number nine is set to make his 100th European club appearance this weekend in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

PETER STRINGER IS set to become just the third player to make 100 appearances in European club competitions when Bath clash with Mogliano in their Amlin Challenge Cup game at the Rec on Saturday.

The former Munster scrum-half would join an elite club alongside former teammates Ronan O’Gara and John Hayes if he is selected to play for the Premiership side in their Pool 2 encounter with the Italian opposition. Stringer has been plying his trade with Bath since 2012, after brief loan spells as Newcastle and Saracens.

The 98-times capped Ireland scrum-half, who celebrates his 36th birthday tomorrow, is still some way off O’Gara’s all-time record of 112 European club appearances, while Hayes finished his career on 103. The fact that Stringer is still playing with an energy that belies his age means it would be no surprise to see him challenge those numbers.

Stringer, who is set receive a specially commissioned ERC Elite Award to mark his achievement if he is involved against Mogliano, made his European debut for Munster against Perpignan in the Heineken Cup in 1998, the start of an incredible run of 90 games in European games for the slick-passing scrum-half.

He started three Heineken Cup finals and appeared off the bench in a fourth. His intelligent blindside sniping try from a scrum helped Munster to defeat Biarritz in 2006, and Stringer played his part as a replacement when Munster beat Toulouse in the final in Cardiff two years later.

YouTube credit: stecaswell

He played 92 games in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup for Munster between 1998 and 2011 before switching to Newcastle, Saracens, and then Bath. He made four appearances for Saracens in the Heineken Cup and has featured in three Amlin Challenge Cup games to date for Bath.

Although his focus is now on helping Bath to excel in the second-tier European tournament, as well as the Aviva Premiership, Stringer told the ERC that his relationship with Munster’s support will always be important to him.

They were with us every step up of the way – that meant a lot to us and really brought the best out of the team. The big games, the big occasions, getting to travel, people enjoy that. The more difficult a place is to get to, the more people seemed to find a way to get there, whether it be bike, bus, plane or whatever.

“Their support really motivated us. And they felt that they could meet us whenever they wanted to. We were close to the supporters and nearly everyone on the team grew up in the local area and every supporter felt like they knew a member of the team.

“There was a great closeness with the people of Munster and that was something really special.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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