Thursday 27 October 2016

'A husband and a father, a son and a brother, and a fallen friend': Rassie Erasmus releases heartfelt statement about Anthony Foley

Published 19/10/2016 | 16:24

Munster held their first press conference since the tragic death of Anthony Foley this afternoon and it was a very emotional affair.

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Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus confirmed that this Saturday's Champions Cup game against Glasgow at Thomond Park will go ahead, in what will be one of the most memorable occasions ever seen at the rugby cathedral.

Video: 'I’m not going to do him justice here' - Peter O'Mahony overcome during Munster press conference  

Captain Peter O'Mahony was a picture of devastation as he addressed the media, breaking down as he tried to put into words the impact that Foley had on his life.

Prior to addressing the press pack, Erasmus released a touching statement paying tribute to his departed colleague, telling people that 'the great man touched so many hearts'.

Here is the statement in full:

"On behalf of the squad I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the Foley and Hogan families, in particular Olive, the two boys Tony & Dan, Axel's parents Brendan & Sheila & sisters Orla & Rosie. Our thoughts continue to be with them, Axel's extended family, and close circle of friends at this time.

Read more: There will be a special tribute to Anthony Foley before all Champions Cup games this weekend

"Although an Irish and Munster rugby hero, and a great friend of ours, this time is about a husband and a father, a son and a brother, and a fallen friend.

"Let us all not forget that.

"From a Munster Rugby point of view we wish to acknowledge and thank those that have expressed their sympathies and thoughts with us during this time and thank everyone for their thoughtful considerations - it has been quite overwhelming and is testament to Axel himself that we are hearing from all corners of the world, across all sports and walks of life. The great man touched so many hearts.

"One's life is greater than any sport or sporting occasion, however Thomond Park held a special place in Axel's heart, and as difficult as it will be to play the next game, no matter the time, opposition and venue, we have an opportunity to play there this Saturday; that is something that is hugely important to all of us and cannot be easily dismissed.

"Playing in Thomond Park further ties us to his memory and will be a chance for all, including our supporters and the community, to feel that connection and closeness to him at this time."

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