A chartered plane loaded with Munster fans was abuzz with excitement as it touched down in Waterford Airport on Sunday evening.
For the 100-strong Waterpark contingent aboard, Munster’s ERC semi-final win was the perfect pick-me-up following the club’s relegation from senior rugby.
Munster had made it to another European Cup final and the frantic rush for the last allocation of tickets for the Cardiff showpiece had already begun.
It’s believed that there’ll be another 5,500 tickets issued to the Munster Branch in the next few days. These precious tickets shall then be distributed through the clubs and the Munster Rugby Supporters Association.
Remarkably, 50,000 tickets had been sold for the final by February, no doubt a good deal of them snapped up by optimistic Munster fans ahead of the knock-out phase.
Club committee members across the province are busily bracing themselves for phone calls, texts and emails from folk they’ve not heard from since the 2006 final, also played in Cardiff.
It’s looks unlikely that Munster Rugby will have any tickets on general sale for a decider which will surely see more Toulouse fans travelling to Cardiff than Biarritz mustered two years ago.
Meanwhile, news that the All Blacks will provide Munster’s opposition at the redeveloped Thomond Park on Tuesday, November 18th will provoke another ticket rush – in due course!
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate such an auspicious occasion than for Munster to play one of the top ranked teams in the world in our own stadium,” said Munster Rugby CEO Garret Fitzgerald.
“We are honoured they have accepted our invitation to help us open the new Thomond Park and we are looking forward to a fixture that has already captured the imagination of the public at large. We would like to thank the NZRU and IRFU for their efforts in bringing negotiations to a successful conclusion.”
Heady times for Munster rugby indeed.