It was difficult not to feel a little dizzy at the sun-kissed Regional Sports Centre last Wednesday evening.
After all, you had Davy Fitzgerald talking hurling on one side of the RSC sod. Then you had Irish soccer boss Giovanni Trapattoni around the city (well noted and snapped in this week’s edition) while rugby counterpart Declan Kidney was in situ with the European Cup.
Munster jersey-wearing kids and their Munster jersey wearing parents waited patiently in line to get their photo taken with the trophy, while the new Irish coach happily signed autographs.
While a nearby IRFU official wore the time-keeping look of a man that needed to be somewhere else, Kidney, in his traditional non-bluster manner, briefly reflected on Munster’s European Cup victory.
“It was just great to be involved in it in a short way,” he said, somewhat understating his role in the province’s second ERC success. “Games are for players – coaches sometimes get a bit over-rated so it was just a privilege to be involved.”
Getting the European Cup around Munster is something that local clubs are already looking forward to, one of the many components which maintains the bond between the professional set-up and the province’s grass roots.
“It’s a trophy won by everybody,” Kidney commented. “So it’s important that everyone gets a chance to have a photograph taken with and we want to share it around.”
And what of the appointment of Tony McGahan as his successor in the Munster hot seat? “It will add continuity to the whole thing, Tony having been involved for over two years now and I have absolute confidence in him that he’ll do a good job.”
While the All Blacks’ visit to Croke Park in November will dominate the rugby headlines, Kidney is looking no further than his first game in charge as Irish coach.
“You take one game at a time and it’s a challenge that we’re looking forward to. It’ll be a good day in Thomond Park against Canada and we look forward to the games that follow on from that as well.”
Kidney saluted Waterford City Council’s efforts in transforming the RSC into one of the island’s leading sports centres.
“It’s a very impressive stadium, right up with the facilities that we meet right across Europe and I think the authorities are to be congratulated on their foresight in putting such a facility together…of a standard that could host any sport.”
Did he foresee representative rugby being played in Kilbarry? “It’s something to take a good look at in the future,” he added.
The possibility of Waterford becoming a third venue for the European rugby champions remains intriguing, as will Kidney’s attempts to replicate club success at test level.