Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has issued a statement today on the passing of Anthony Foley, the province’s much-loved head coach and former number 8 and captain.
On behalf of the Munster squad, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the Foley and Hogan families, in particular Olive, the two boys Tony and Dan, Axel’s parents Brendan and Sheila and sisters Orla and Rosie. Our thoughts continue to be with them, Axel’s extended family, and close circle of friends at this time.
Although an Irish and Munster rugby hero, and a great friend of ours, this time is about a husband and a father, a son and a brother, and a fallen friend.
Let us all not forget that.
From a Munster Rugby point of view, we wish to acknowledge and thank those that have expressed their sympathies and thoughts with us during this time and thank everyone for their thoughtful considerations – it has been quite overwhelming and is testament to Axel himself that we are hearing from all corners of the world, across all sports and walks of life. The great man touched so many hearts.
One’s life is greater than any sport or sporting occasion, however Thomond Park held a special place in Axel’s heart, and as difficult as it will be to play the next game, no matter the time, opposition and venue, we have an opportunity to play there this Saturday; that is something that is hugely important to all of us and cannot be easily dismissed.
Playing in Thomond Park further ties us to his memory and will be a chance for all, including our supporters and the community, to feel that connection and closeness to him at this time.