Foley seeks 'parish mentality'
Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30
Anthony Foley has called on the Munster supporters to help make Thomond Park an intimidating place to play again when Treviso arrive in Limerick this evening (5.15).
Munster are looking to get their Champions Cup campaign off to a flying start against the Italian outfit who are rooted to the foot of the Pro12 table and are without a win since February.
Foley's side failed to make it out of the pool stages of the competition last season and nothing more than a win will suffice against Treviso.
"Saturday, five o'clock is a good traditional time. Get the mist in over the stadium, get the lights going, it's an intimidating atmosphere. It's no different to last year when we required that atmosphere," Foley said.
"We're very reliant on the supporters. I'm not sure many teams would have that attraction that we have with them. How much they feel for us and how much we need them.
"It comes from the fact that a lot of the team are home-grown and they need that feeling. Maybe it's the good old GAA days that come through in you. You need that parish mentality and the connectivity you have with your supporters.
"We've always had that umbilical chord with our supporters and it's gotten us over the line on so many occasions and sometimes when we didn't deserve to get over," he added.
Foley has made five changes to the side that beat Edinburgh. Keith Earls passed his return-to-play protocols and takes his place in a back three that includes Andrew Conway and Simon Zebo.
Hooker Mike Sherry will make his first appearance in Europe in over two years and makes up a front-row alongside Dave Kilcoyne and BJ Botha who has signed a contract extension until June 2016.
Mark Chisholm, Dave O'Callaghan and the impressive Jack O'Donoghue also start. Recently-signed Argentinian international Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino is on the bench.
Treviso have proven to be a stubborn unit to break down in the past and they include experienced internationals like Luke McLean, Edoardo Gori and Alessandro Zanni.
Munster may have to stay patient but a bonus point win should eventually come their way.
Munster - A Conway; K Earls, F Saili, D Hurley, S Zebo; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D Ryan, M Chisholm; D O'Callaghan, J O'Donoghue, CJ Stander (capt). Reps: D Casey, J Cronin, J Ryan, D Foley, R Copeland, T O'Leary, R Scannell, L Amorosino.
Benetton Treviso - L McClean; L Nitoglia, J Hayward, E Bacchin, T Iannone; J Ambrosini, E Gori; M Zanusso, O Gega, R Harden; D Naudé, J Montauriol; F Minto, A Zanni (capt), A Steyn. Reps: D Giazzon, M Muccignat, F Filippetto, D Budd, M Barbini, A De Marchi, S Smylie, S Christie.
REF - M Carley (Eng)
Munster v Benetton Treviso, Live, Sky Sports 5, 5.15