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Ireland and the rugby community grieved over the death of rugby great, Anthony Foley, player and coach, who died suddenly at age 42 in Paris. “The whole rugby family of Ireland is in mourning,” was the universal statement.
Playing for the national team Foley had been capped 62 times, and captained the Irish on three occasions. Starting at number 8, he scored a record 23 tries in Champion Cup games.
Foley was a stalwart Munster RFC regular, leading the club to transition from amateur to professional status. Munster won the Heineken Cup, finally, in 2006 against Biarritz, after having qualified for the playoffs on eight consecutive seasons.
After retiring in 2008, Foley assumed assistant head coaching jobs at Munster before being elevated to the club’s head position in 2011.
Tributes came from around the world.
Munster was set to play Racing 92 in Paris, but the match was postponed. Fans assembled outside the Stade Colombes and sang “Fields of Athenry,” the club’s anthem song.
Anthony Foley (1973-2016).