Belfast Telegraph

McAllister hoping to turn things around at bogey ground

By Cian Tracey

Luke McAllister's memories of playing in Thomond Park range from anywhere between unhappy to miserable but there was a time when the former All Black might have called the famous Limerick venue home.

Back in 2007, Munster were among the many suitors but he opted for Sale Sharks instead.

Ten years later, McAllister admits that he was tempted by the move to Munster, especially when he got a first taste of the atmosphere when Sale arrived in Thomond Park in 2009.

The English side were sent packing that night with McAllister kicking two penalties and his luck didn't get much better in 2014 when Toulouse were on the end of a similar drubbing.

Now 33, and ahead of Saturday's Champions Cup quarter-final, McAllister has played in his fair share of passionate stadiums but in his view, Thomond ranks up there with the best.

"We got a good hiding that day (2014) so it wasn't a great experience," McAllister recalled. "My record at Munster isn't great."

With that in mind, there have been a few home truths told to some of the younger members of Toulouse's squad as they look to avoid suffering a similar fate.

"It's an atmosphere I've never experienced before. They don't say anything when you've got a shot. It's the only stadium in the world they do that," he added.

"It's quite intimidating but I'm sure the older boys will try to give the younger boys a heads up. It's something the young boys are going to thrive on. It's an awesome place, one of my favourite stadiums to play in."

Belfast Telegraph


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