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Waterford Welcomes Munster For Vital B&I Showdown.

11th February 2010 By Munster Rugby

Rugby makes its debut at Waterford’s Regional Sports Centre this Friday night, as Munster seek to protect their perfect record when facing Nottingham in their third British & Irish Cup outing.

Rugby makes its debut at Waterford’s Regional Sports Centre this Friday night, as Munster seek to protect their perfect record when facing Nottingham in their third British & Irish Cup outing.

Coached by former Munster skipper Anthony Foley and Ian Costello, the side has enjoyed a superb campaign, with three interprovincial wins to date and two from two in this inaugural British & Irish Cup.

Following Clonmel RFC’s superb hosting of Munster’s interpro win over Leinster last October, the south east is looking forward to another memorable night of action in a novel venue.

Better known for hosting Waterford United’s fixtures and a host of underage soccer internationals and athletics events, the RSC’s value to the city is being underlined by hosting this game.

"The rugby community in Waterford and right across East Munster for that matter, is indebted to Waterford City Council for making the RSC available for this fixture," said Waterford City RFC’s Oliver Clery. ""

"Without their input, this game just wouldn’t have been possible to host here in Waterford."

The City clubman’s words were welcomed by colleagues Brendan Gallagher and Jim Drohan from Waterpark RFC , Carrick-on-Suir’s Mick Hickey and Trevor Doherty (Dungarvan).

Mayor of Waterford John Halligan said that Friday’s match offered another opportunity to showcase the city to a wider audience.

"Rugby’s popularity in Waterford has skyrocketed over the past decade, due in no small part to the achievements of Munster in the Heineken Cup and Magners League," he said.

"You only have to venture out to any of our local clubs on a weekend morning to see hundreds of children enjoying the game to realise the impact that players like Ronan O’Gara, Mick Galwey and Anthony Foley have made on so many households."

"To have an opportunity to host a Munster team is a great privilege for the city, and I know that everyone in Waterford City Council are delighted to see Munster take to the RSC pitch for the first time this Friday."

"We welcome both Munster and Nottingham to our city for what should be a keenly contested match, and we sincerely hope that our visitors from England will enjoy their time in Waterford and sample some of what Ireland’s oldest city has to offer!"

Munster will be confident of recording another B&I Cup victory to add to their wins over Coventry (20-13) and Bristol (18-6).

They come into Friday’s game fresh from an excellent 28-11 win over Connacht in Thomond Park on Thursday last, which kept their double ambitions firmly intact.

For their part, the visitors lie just a point behind Munster in Pool B of this competition that features 24 clubs in four pools drawn from across the four ‘home’ unions.

Every match is vital, given that the four pool winners alone will progress to the next phase, with just one knock-out semi-final round to decide who reaches the final.

"Having this tournament has given us something to aim for," according to Foley.

"The benefits for the players are many. It gives them more game time, more match practice and that for me is the best way for players to improve and for coaches to see if and how they’re improving."

He added: "Training only takes you so far, so these additional games are a win-win as far as I’m concerned and, come the end of the season, it would be great if we found ourselves in the shake-up for honours. That’s what this game is all about. Results are what we’re all ultimately measured by."

With tickets keenly priced, there’s a real expectation that the RSC will be a sea of red this Friday night for the first – and surely not the last – rugby match to be played at the Kilbarry venue.

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