Sunday 17 December 2017

Irish provinces still to the fore in Euro finals

A Sacarens' fan celebrates after his team won the European Champions Cup Final at BT Murrayfield. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
A Sacarens' fan celebrates after his team won the European Champions Cup Final at BT Murrayfield. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

David Wallace

With this year's Champions Cup final held at BT Murrayfield there was never going to be a full brigade of Clermont and Saracens fans in Edinburgh last weekend.

However, with 55,272 at the decider there was still a massive crowd in attendance and many of those were neutrals, who in turn were mostly Irish.

When Munster and Leinster beat Toulouse and Wasps in their respective quarter-finals, it set up the dream scenario of a potential all-Ireland Champions Cup final in Edinburgh.

I'm sure as soon as the draw was made and the news filtered out to the fans, many snapped up their tickets as soon as they could in hope rather than expectation. 

And it was no wonder that Munster flags could be seen dotted around the stadium last weekend, and halfway through the first-half 'The Fields of Athenry' was blasted out by sections of the crowd.

The Irish have such a love affair with this competition, and they always seem to buy into it more than any other country for whatever reason.

It's great to see the fans continuing their support year in, year out no matter how their teams are doing in the competition, and I'm sure next year the Munster fans will flock to Bilbao hoping to see their team in action.

Irish Independent

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