Munster and Racing 92 players and fans have paid tribute to Anthony Foley with a minute’s applause before their Champions Cup clash, writes Stephen Barry.
The Thomond Park fixture marks just over a year since the former Munster head coach’s death in Paris, the day the two sides were scheduled to meet.
“(Foley’s) aura will be all around Thomond Park tomorrow,” wrote Racing defensive coach and former teammate Ronan O’Gara in his Irish Examiner column.
“For Racing, that’s a good thing. It helps to remind my team of the Axel factor, and that it will be another emotionally-charged crucible tomorrow. In the week that’s in it, Axel is very much to the forefront of every Munster player’s thinking, every supporter too, with the intense focus of delivering a performance in his honour.
“Munster is a difficult assignment for any Champions Cup visitor, but tomorrow is a difficult concoction of emotions for many of us. The Racing players are going to have to be very conscious that he is still a factor. Quinny (Alan Quinlan) and myself will probably go to the grave tomorrow before the game. After that, it’s blinkers on, head down.”
Munster's jerseys are carrying the Irish Heart Foundation logo in place of a main sponsor for today's game.
Former Munster player Donnacha Ryan also made a presentation to Munster captain Peter O’Mahony on his Thomond Park return.