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Donal Lenihan Offers Prospect To Excite Cork-Based Munster Fans

Donal Lenihan Offers Prospect To Excite Cork-Based Munster Fans
By PJ Browne

A big Munster game - a be it a Champions Cup semi-final or a PRO14 game against Leinster - being held at Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a possibility according to Donal Lenihan.

Speaking on 2FM's Game On on Wednesday, Lenihan, himself a Corkman, addressed an idea which he had first proposed in his Irish Examiner column.

Over the weekend, Lenihan was one of many people to attend a night a Cork's City Hall honouring the great Dr. Con Murphy.

At the event, Lenihan spoke to a number of Cork GAA figures emerging with the belief that there is an appetite to see a Munster game played at the new stadium.

Lenihan also sees a chance of it happening this year.

"If Glasgow were to beat Saracens and Munster beat Edinburgh in their respective Champions Cup quarter-finals, then Munster are entitled to host a semi-final in Ireland," said Lenihan.

The law states that it can't be held in your home ground, so that rules out Thomond Park. The obvious candidate would be the Aviva Stadium but given that Munster supporters have travelled far and wide it would be great, if it happened, that the match happened in the province itself.

If the semi-final draw doesn't work out, it's a debate I think that needs to happen.

There is a case for Munster to explore bringing a Leinster game over the festive period [to Páirc Uí Chaoimh]. Marketed properly, I think you could attract over 40,000 people.

Munster Rugby needs finances. They are under pressure in terms of financing their own debt on Thomond Park, as are the Cork County Board. So, it could be a win-win for both.

Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald has said previously that the province would be open to playing a game at the Cork venue.

"It should be stated that when you get to the semi-final of a European competition, all the receipts go to EPCR but regardless of that, if Munster were involved, they would have to take the game to the Aviva anyway," continued Lenihan.

"So it would be a case of which ground would you be renting on the day."

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Picture credit: Sportsfile

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