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20,000 pack town to pay respects to rugby's Foley

By Nicola Anderson

Up to 20,000 mourners attended the removal of Munster coach Anthony Foley in his home town of Killaloe, Co Clare.

The town had been entirely cordoned off by gardai to accommodate the numbers travelling from all over the country.

The queue of mourners stretched down the town to the bridge, with a guard of honour formed by Munster backroom staff.

Amongst members of the rugby community who turned out to pay their respects was 'Ginger' McLoughlin, the great Irish international, together with former rugby international Keith Wood - a great personal friend of Anthony's - Paul O'Connell and Mick Galwey.

Former Munster and Ireland players David Wallace and Jerry Flannery were also present.

Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, Johnny Sexton and Devon Toner were amongst Leinster players in attendance, along with Leinster manager Leo Cullen.

Pat Lam, the Connacht coach, and a number of players were also there. Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble of Ulster attended.

The funeral mass will take place at noon today and garda have introduced a traffic management plan, with only non-funeral local traffic permitted to cross the bridge into the town.

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