No red 'guard' for Leinster
Published 26/05/2011 | 05:00
Fittingly, for the week that was in it, guards of honour dominated yesterday's Munster press conference at the University of Limerick and the issue of whether the home side would acknowledge Leinster's epic Heineken Cup victory last weekend by applauding the team onto Thomond Park before Saturday's Magners League Grand Final, writes Hugh Farrelly.
However, it seems both sides walk out together this weekend as the organisers believe there is no reason to alter established protocol. Furthermore, given what is at stake, Munster captain Paul O'Connell does not believe Leinster would expect such a tribute.
"I don't think they will be expecting us to clap them out at the weekend," said O'Connell. "I have the height of respect for what they have achieved, but it is a Cup final and we have a lot to play for, they have a lot to play for and we will be sticking with protocol and walking out together.
"We had this in 2004 after England had won the World Cup and I was consulted as well on whether we would clap England out (at Twickenham). I didn't really mind at the time, but management decided against it," he added.
O'Connell's Young Munster club famously clapped city rivals Garryowen on to the field the week after the Light Blues had landed the All-Ireland League back in 1992, but the Munster captain believes different circumstances existed at that time.
"I don't think Young Munster had anything to play for at the time," he said.