Sunday 18 February 2018

Another chapter in the long and often blood-stained history of the city boys versus country brawn

Leinster legend Brian O'Driscoll Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster legend Brian O'Driscoll Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

John Daly

There will be blood - guaranteed - and it will be all part of the expected entertainment value for the punters who'll pack the Aviva today in the latest Leinster v Munster showdown. "This is older than all of us," bleat the adverts, and as derbies go, it is surely up there with Cork and Kerry in football, Kilkenny v Tipp in the hurling and City against United in the footie.

Regardless of whether you're a fair-weather rugby fan who just likes sheepskin jackets and pints in Kiely's, or a super-nerd who can reel off every jink and sprint of Brian O'Driscoll's 46 tries for Ireland, nobody can deny the wicked excitement on display when these two tribes go to war.

Even though the rivalry has become hugely hyped since the advent of the professional era, the hunger for supremacy played out between the two provinces goes back generations, and goes far deeper than just the numbers on the scoreboard. Today is about more than the collision of cartilage and craniums - it's country versus city, fancy dans against muck savages, pride tangling with ego.

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