Munster game goes ahead despite Foley death

Anthony Foley (Getty Images)
Anthony Foley (Getty Images)

London - Munster's European Champions Cup tie at home to Glasgow will go ahead as scheduled on Saturday despite the death of Anthony Foley, the Irish province's head coach, tournament organisers announced Wednesday.

Foley was found dead aged 42 in his hotel room in Paris hours ahead of his side's European Champions Cup clash with French side Racing 92 on Sunday.

That fixture was postponed as a mark of respect and there had been speculation that Saturday's match might be put off as well.

But following an announcement earlier on Wednesday that Foley's funeral would take place on Friday, it was confirmed that Saturday's 1.00pm (1200 GMT) kick-off against Glasgow at Limerick's Thomond Park would go ahead as planned, in what promises to be an emotional 48 hours for Munster supporters.

A statement issued by tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) also asked that a minute's silence or applause in memory of former Ireland back-row forward Foley be observed at all European Champions and Challenge Cup ties this weekend.

The statement said: "EPCR can officially confirm that the Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors Champions Cup, Round 2 match will be played as scheduled at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 13.00)."

An autopsy conducted following Foley's death found a heart rhythm disorder that caused an acute pulmonary edema, the Nanterre public prosecutor west of Paris said.

Pulmonary edema is a build-up of fluid in the lungs that can lead to respiratory failure.

Munster said Foley's body would be flown home on Wednesday and the funeral would take place on Friday.

Foley captained Munster to European Cup victory in 2006 with victory over Biarritz in Cardiff and also gained 62 caps for Ireland, captaining the national side on three occasions.

He played 86 European matches for Munster, including a record 71 consecutive games, and retired in 2008 as the club's most-capped player with 194 appearances for the provincial side.

His death sparked an outpouring of emotion from the global rugby community, and within hours of the news breaking Thomond Park had become a virtual shrine, the gates covered with scarves, jerseys and flowers.

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