TIME TO MAKE HISTORY AGAIN; Home Is Where the Heart Is: Donncha OCallaghan (Left) Says That Redevelopment of Thomond Park (above) Has Turned It into One of the Best Stadiums in Europe, Befitting of Munsters History and of Their Passionate Supporters. Munster Will Open the Stadium against Glasgow Tonight but Only a Crowd of 20,500 Will Be on Hand as the Full Capacity of 26,000 Will Not Be Accessible until the Visit of Montauban in the Heineken Cup
Byline: EDWARD NEWMAN
WORLD Cup winners, Grand-slammers, Heineken Cup heroes and even entire nations have fallen at the hands of the men in red who have defended this field as they would their own families.
Where venues like Welford Road in Leicester and Dunedins House of Pain in New Zealand have taken their fair share of prisoners, neither can match Limericks Thomond Park for storied history that has seen even the games greatest talents fail to leave with a victory to their name.
And for Munsters Donncha OCallaghan, the world-renowned Limerick location is a special place, and though the lock forward is a proud Cork man, he can not wait to go home when Munster run out against Glasgow at the spiritual home place tonight.
A rugby game will break out amid all the hype surrounding the opening of the magnificently e40m redeveloped Thomond Park, with its two new and iconic stands flanked by the old terracing behind the goals. Terracing remains below both stands also in order to retain that special Thomond atmosphere.
To help facilitate the gradual adjustment to full capacity, the new arena will not be at its optimum capacity until next Friday nights Heineken Cup opener against Montauban, but Munster Branch officials have sold out the 20,500 allocated places for this Magners League clash.
We trained there last Friday ahead of the Leinster match. Its incredible, it really is, says OCallaghan. You play in big stadiums like Croke Park or Lansdowne Road, but this place feels like your own. Its nice to know were going to have more of our supporters that were always scrambling for tickets for our [Heineken Cup] games. Hopefully theres going to be an incredible atmosphere.
If its like it was, it will be incredible. The thought of having double the attendance who are extremely passionate will be incredible. Its a new stadium, but lets start setting a new standard with the atmosphere. Over the last ten years an incredible bond has developed between the team and its supporters, and OCallaghan reckons the team is always lifted by the sight of packed house urging them on. Munster supporters get behind you but we have to get them into the game, and to be fair, we feed off them, they feed off us, they know when to lift us when were on thin ice.
Munster supporters are really well educated in the game and know when to rally around the team. Were asking for no different than theyve …
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Publication information: Article title: TIME TO MAKE HISTORY AGAIN; Home Is Where the Heart Is: Donncha OCallaghan (Left) Says That Redevelopment of Thomond Park (above) Has Turned It into One of the Best Stadiums in Europe, Befitting of Munsters History and of Their Passionate Supporters. Munster Will Open the Stadium against Glasgow Tonight but Only a Crowd of 20,500 Will Be on Hand as the Full Capacity of 26,000 Will Not Be Accessible until the Visit of Montauban in the Heineken Cup. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Mail (London). Publication date: October 4, 2008. Page number: 70. © 2007 Daily Mail. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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