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Donncha O'Callaghan Reveals 'Inspirational' Roy Keane Speech That Changed Munster

Donncha O'Callaghan Reveals 'Inspirational' Roy Keane Speech That Changed Munster
By PJ Browne Updated

Less than a month before he departed Manchester United, Donncha O'Callaghan says that Roy Keane gave a speech which helped change the outlook of both Munster and Irish rugby.

Writing in his column for the Irish edition of The Times, O'Callaghan explained that Munster were in England for their opening match of the 2005/6 Heineken Cup against Sale.

A day before the game, into a Munster team meeting walked Keane, asking that all he disclosed about Man Utd teammates and the club set-up remain within the walls of the room.

In particular, the talk altered how the Munster players thought about their diet.

That day Keane spoke to us in Manchester, we were sponges to the information he gave us. Axel, a huge Manchester United fan, interrogated him with questions. “I don’t mind telling you lads but when I arrived here, my nutrition and diet was the worst at the club,” Keane said. By the time he left, a few weeks after our meeting in 2005, it was the best.

Heading away from that talk, we all resolved to change.

O'Callaghan added that Munster head coach Declan Kidney had ordered pizzas to be delivered that evening. Where normally there wouldn't be a slice left, only two were taken - Argentinian prop Freddie Pucciariello and South African winger Anton Pitout were unaware of Keane's standing and so were not as moved as everyone else in the room.

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"The rest of us were too embarrassed to consider going near it while Keane was there. To me, It was one of the most inspirational speeches I’d ever heard," writes O'Callaghan.

Munster would go on to win the Heineken Cup for the first time that season.

See Also: "He Just Started Abusing Me" - Luke Fitzgerald On World Cup Bollocking From Joe Schmidt

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