Thursday 23 November 2017

Munster ponder guard of honour for Leinster

Guard of honour or no guard of honour? The issue of whether the Munster players pay tribute to Leinster's Heineken Cup achievement in Saturday's Magners League Grand Final at Thomond Park is a live one this week.

You suspect the respect between the teams and friendship forged on shared international duty means that Munster will be happy to applaud their rivals onto their turf before wading into them when action commences and doing their utmost to prevent the double.

However, Ireland took a different route in 2004 when they were rolled out in Twickenham for England's first home match after winning the 2003 World Cup.

Coach Eddie O'Sullivan initially planned to do the courteous thing and form the guard of honour but, when the players spoke about it amongst themselves, there was deep disquiet -- led by Ireland's abrasive Bristol-born centre replacement Kevin Maggs -- and they decided not to do it.

How significant a role it played in what happened next is debatable but England's triumphant return was blown asunder, with Maggs getting a run to help hammer it home.

Irish Independent

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