'I’m not going to do him justice here': Peter O'Mahony overcome with emotion at press conference

An emotional Munster captain Peter O'Mahony says he can't do Anthony Foley justice with words.

The province’s head coach died in Paris last weekend just hours before they were due to play Racing 92.

The back row struggled to answer when asked about Foley at a press conference held this afternoon.

"I’m not going to do him justice here, personally he meant a huge amount,” O’Mahony said. “I haven’t supported a Munster team that he wasn’t involved in. The amount he’s given the club, it can’t be calculated.

“I was lucky he was in my position as well, the knowledge he could give to me.

“The amount we’ve lost now that he’s gone, the rugby knowledge; the man and the brain, the coach and the friend, the brother."

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus offered their condolences to the bereaved family and friends.

"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,” Erasmus said. “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.”

He acknowledged and thanked everyone who had expressed sympathy with Munster and said: “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.”

He also confirmed Saturday’s meeting Glasgow at Thomond park will go ahead, explaining that the squad would see it as a chance "for all, including our supporters and the community, to feel that connection and closeness to him".

“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,” Erasmus said.

“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.”

The EPCR confirmed that the decision to play the match was made after close consultation with the Munster management and that a minute's silence or minute's applause for Foley will be observed at all Round 2 matches in the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup.

"At this particularly difficult time following the passing of Anthony Foley, EPCR would like to once again convey its deepest sympathies to the Foley family and to everyone at Munster Rugby.

"EPCR has requested that a minute's silence or a minute's applause in Anthony's memory be observed at all Round 2 matches in the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup."

KEYWORDS: sport, rugby.

 

By Grainne McGuinness

Most Read in Sport