Peter Stringer was never going to miss the funeral of his "protector on the field." He was among the mourners in Killaloe today, there to pay his respects and hear a painfully moving speech from Olive Foley.
Within a few hours, he was back in Sale for their Champions Cup match against Toulon tonight. His coach Steve Diamond spoke about Stringer's motivations.
The tragedy of last weekend everybody knows about. The funeral was today. Strings made it clear that he wouldn't miss the funeral but he also didn't want to miss a game.
Ged Mason, the new owner, put on a private plane and we whipped him in and out.
He said Anthony Foley would have wanted him to play tonight. He got his own motivations from his friendship there.
Here's the clip via BT Sport.
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) October 21, 2016
Sale put up to the three-time Champions Cup winners and competition aristocrats before going down in the end. But Stringer's determination to play won plaudits.
— Des Cahill (@sportsdes) October 21, 2016
Huge respect for Peter Stringer today - In Killaloe today & play Champions Cup hrs later. Loyalty is something that's ingrained. #RIPAxel
— Lauren Guilfoyle (@GuilfoyleLauren) October 21, 2016
Sale unlucky to leave empty-handed. Toulon fitful, clunky, but finished well in first 15'. As for Peter Stringer, there aren't enough words
— Alastair Eykyn (@alastaireykyn) October 21, 2016
Incredible effort by Peter Stringer. Attended Anthony Foley's funeral in Ireland then flew to Manchester to play full 80 for Sale v Toulon.
— Simon Thomas (@simonrug) October 21, 2016