Munster honors rugby coach Foley with pre-match tribute, win

BY foxsports • October 22, 2016

LIMERICK, Ireland (AP) Munster honored Anthony Foley with an emotional pre-match tribute and a spirited rugby win with 14 men on Saturday, a week after the sudden death of its popular coach.

Munster beat Glasgow 38-17 in a European Champions Cup game as the Irish rugby province returned to play at its Thomond Park ground. The 42-year-old Foley, a Munster great who represented Ireland 62 times, was found dead in a Paris hotel ahead of a match.

An autopsy showed he died from fluid in the lungs caused by a heart condition.

No. 8 - Foley's number as a player - was retired for the game, with C.J. Stander wearing No. 24 instead. There was a minute of silence before the match.

Before kickoff, spectators in one of the stands held up placards that spelled out Foley's nickname, ''Axel,'' along with the No. 8 jersey that he wore with such distinction for Munster and Ireland. All of the Munster players' jerseys had ''AXEL'' sewn under the club crest.

Irish soprano Sinead O'Brien joined the Munster Rugby Supporters' Club Choir to perform ''Stand Up And Fight.'' Young players from Foley's former club, Shannon RFC, and students representing his school formed a guard of honor as the teams ran out.

Foley's funeral, attended by hundreds of mourners, was Friday.


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