Ronan O’Gara – “There Are Warning Signs There. This Is Dangerous Territory For Rugby.”
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Ronan O’Gara says it’s a worrying sign that only 16,000 fans were in attendance for the Champions Cup semi-final clash between Munster and Saracens over the weekend.
Most of the fans were Irish fans from Munster who had travelled across to Coventry, with Saracens only counting a few thousands fans in attendance – despite the fact that they’re home stadium is only around an hour away.
Sarries fans blamed the fact that there was no direct train in place for the game for their lack of attendance, but considering most Munster fans travelled by ferry or plane it’s hard accept their excuse.
The last time the two sides met at the same stage in Europe two years ago, almost 40,000 Munster fans made their way to the Aviva – with many venturing up the motorway for what is over 2 hours of a journey.
“How disappointing was the crowd? This is the semi-final of the European Cup and it looked like Super Rugby where you have stadiums half-empty,” O’Gara told Off The Ball
“These are the biggest days in Europe.”
“There are warning signs there. This is dangerous territory for rugby. This is a special competition but it was so disheartening to see.”
“Rugby is on very dangerous ground if the European Cup is being diminished or lost because the Irish clubs are going to feel that more than anyone.”