By Shaun Cronin
Ireland fly-half Ian Madigan has praised the “fantastic” level of support his side has received from the travelling fans in their first two games at the Rugby World Cup.
Yesterday’s game against Romania saw the record for attendance at a Rugby World Cup broken for a second time this tournament - as 89,267 fans, mainly in green, turned out.
The crowd beat the previous mark of 89,019 set in the Pool C meeting of New Zealand and Argentina on opening weekend.
“The support was absolutely fantastic,” said Madigan. “It was numbing coming into the stadium seeing all the supporters lining the bus.”
“I came out to kick about an hour and half before the game and got a fantastic reception off the crowd. It just set the tone of the day for me.”
Not only did the Irish fans pack out the home of English football, they also thronged the Fanzone just outside and that is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the players.
“(The) hair was standing up on my neck when The Fields of Athenry was being sung.”
“As ever, it was an enthusiastic Mexican wave,” joked the Leinster fly half.
Madigan went onto admit the Irish fans could have a role to play in the upcoming Pool D matches with Italy and France.
“Their (Irish fans) knowledge of the game is fantastic. The way they lift you at certain times in the game is going to be huge going forward against Italy and France,” said Madigan.