Peter O’Mahony will be relishing a return to European action at Thomond Park this Sunday when Toulouse return to Limerick but the Munster captain is also keen to see his province return to Páirc Uí Chaoimh for a Heineken Champions Cup knockout tie.
O’Mahony is set to lead Munster at Thomond Park this weekend for a potential cracker of a pool opener against the five-time champions and French league leaders in his 11th Heineken Cup campaign.
It is the ground he made his debut at against Northampton Saints in November 2011, in what proved to be the first of many epic European contests at the storied venue, Ronan O’Gara kicking a game-winning drop goal after 41 phases to seal a famous 23-21 victory.
Indeed, the Munster captain believes Thomond Park should always be the province’s home but his side’s historic appearance at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last month has also whetted the Corkman’s appetite for more rugby to be played at the Leeside stadium.
O’Mahony watched on television from the Ireland squad’s base in Kildare as Munster secured a 28-14 win over South Africa A in front of 41,400 spectators and he appreciated the reconnection made with Cork supporters in the process.
“I spoke to some of the coaches, players afterwards. It was one of those games we watched in the hotel together and would have loved to have been playing and if not I would have loved to have been at the game itself,” O’Mahony said recently as an ambassador for Aviva Ireland.
“It looked like an incredible atmosphere, incredible occasion. I was very impressed with the performance from the lads to take on a side with that many Springbok caps in it. It was a great occasion.
“Cork as well, you know. I have to mention Cork, it’s important. We’ve a great fan base there and for them to be able to walk down the road to it, I think it gives them a great appetite for our club and how important Cork is a part of it.”
The Munster skipper also reiterated his desire to take the field at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, adding: “I’d love to play there I would, I’d love to play there some day. I think it’s a great stadium, a couple of hundred metres from my door so it would be a great occasion.
“Obviously Thomond Park is super and obviously that’s always going to be our home but 40-odd thousand is a great number to have at a game and a big occasion. If you take that as a trial for it I think it went down very well.
“I’m sure it was a win-win for lots of different angles you’d look at so hopefully down the line we’ll have a couple more there.”