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Anthony Foley plaque at Kingspan for Munster visit

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 19/10/2016

Memories: Anthony Foley gives chase to Ulster’s David Humphreys at Ravenhill in the Celtic League in 2006
Memories: Anthony Foley gives chase to Ulster’s David Humphreys at Ravenhill in the Celtic League in 2006

Shane Logan, CEO of Ulster Rugby, has revealed the province hopes to have a permanent memorial plaque for Munster head coach Anthony Foley placed in the away changing room by the time their inter-provincial rivals visit the Kingspan Stadium next weekend.

Former Irish international Foley died in Paris, where he was preparing his team for a Champions Cup fixture, on Sunday after a heart condition caused fluid to build up in his lungs.

His body returned to Ireland yesterday with a funeral service to be held in the 42-year-old's home town of Killaloe on Friday.

Logan is keen to reciprocate a gesture made by his Thomond Park counterpart Garret Fitzgerald following the tragic passing of Ulster player Nevin Spence four years ago.

"When Nevin Spence died, pretty much the first person on the phone to me was Garrett Fitzgerald," he explained.

"He asked if it would be okay for Munster to permanently put a plaque into the away dressing room. We would hope to be able to do the same thing for Anthony Foley.

"I will contact Garrett this week just to confirm that with him. We'd like to have it in place for our game (on October 28)."

Recalling the feeling of grief after Spence's death, Logan said it would be a hugely difficult moment when Munster do return to action.

"I'm not sure if they're going to play this week or not, but it'll be hugely poignant for them. Our sympathy and condolences go out to all in Munster but especially Olive and the two children.

"We more than most know the tragedy of having a life cut short with Nevin four years ago so I hope that we are well placed to provide sympathy and support in the same way that they did, and everyone in the rugby community did, after his death."

Munster released a statement yesterday that said the province were working towards fulfilling their European fixture with Glasgow this weekend.

"The Munster squad gathered in the High Performance Centre at UL (yesterday) in working and planning towards Saturday's Champions Cup encounter with Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park," it read.

"The squad are following a modified schedule this week with players and management signing books of condolence at Thomond Park, Irish Independent Park and at other locations across the province in memory of their colleague and friend Anthony Foley.

"The thoughts of Munster Rugby players, management and staff remain with the Foley and Hogan families and assisting them at this time continues to be the priority."

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