Peter O’Mahony pays emotional tribute to Anthony Foley on return to Paris


October 16, 2016, is a day in Paris that no one will ever forget. Munster were set to take on Racing 92 in the Champions Cup before tragedy struck in the most horrific way possible.

Anthony Foley, Munster’s head coach at the time was found dead in his hotel room before the game, sending shockwaves across the rugby world.

Foley was a legend of Munster Rugby, a legend of Irish Rugby, a legend of rugby itself. He was just 42 years old.

The game between Munster and Racing was abandoned as the players tried to come to terms with the loss of their friend, and seven years on, playing in Paris is still difficult for those still involved.

Ireland take on Scotland in Paris this evening, and while Munster captain Peter O’Mahony will be looking forward to his 100th cap for his country, Axel will be on his mind first and foremost this evening.

“Look, it was funny, myself and Johnny [Sexton] had a conversation about it on the way to the South Africa game,” O’Mahony said of Anthony Foley’s passing in Paris.

“Sometimes it’s weird to be in Paris and think about ‘Axel’ [Anthony Foley] and what happened.

“It’s an incredibly sad memory for the Munster team who were in Paris that week.

“Axel is always someone who’s in my head on a very regular basis, and when you come to Paris, what certainly comes to mind are the fondest memories we had together and the amount of inspiration that he gave not just to me but lots of young kids in Munster and Ireland.”

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