Friday 20 September 2019

Munster's Paris clash against Stade postponed on police advice

The Champions Cup game between Stade Francais and Munster has been postponed
The Champions Cup game between Stade Francais and Munster has been postponed

Ruaidhri O'Connor & Cian Tracey

Munster's Champions Cup clash against Stade Francais was last night postponed amid security fears. Parisian police advised the French champions to cancel Sunday's match at Stade Jean Bouin in the wake of Friday night's terrorist attacks in the French capital.

More than 500 Munster fans had purchased tickets through official channels, while more are thought to have bought tickets through the Stade website.

Organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) and Munster had expected to receive security advice from the French club this morning, but they took the decision to postpone after consulting local police.

EPCR cancelled all of the games scheduled in France last weekend and the Stade v Munster fixture is expected to be re-fixed along with those games before the end of the month.

Speaking before the announcement, Munster coach Anthony Foley said the province were aware of the bigger picture.

"It's hard to put your head around it and then you have a lot of sympathy and respect for the people of Paris in terms of what they were put through," he said.

"The game is only a small thing in the greater scheme of things."

Meanwhile, Ireland out-half Johnny Sexton has admitted that being forced off after 25 minutes of Ireland's World Cup pool win over France was the "biggest disappointment" of his career. The 30-year-old shipped a huge hit from France No 8 Louis Picamoles before he was substituted with a groin injury that ultimately ended his World Cup.

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"It is tough to get over. Personally, it was probably the biggest disappointment of my career to come off the pitch against France and, having felt I had worked so hard, I felt I was coming into a really good place physically and mentally," he said.

"It was going to be a really good time for me and the team and then to miss the guts of that French game and then the Argentina game and watch it all just crumble definitely took a while to get over."

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