Considered the best travelling rugby supporters in Europe, Munster’s Red Army is on the move again with as many as 6,000 expected to descend on the Mediterranean city of Marseille in the coming days.
Twice European champions Munster will play Toulon in the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on Sunday at 3.30pm (Irish time).
The sides last encounter in the competition was in round 5 of the 2010/11 season in nearby Toulon. The home side however were victors on the day beating Munster 32-16.
Now the Red Army is on it’s way to Marseille to meet the reigning champions and hopefully see their side set the record straight. It will be Munster’s 11th Heineken Cup semi-final.
Fans have been paying up to €1,000 each to get to the match with flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to Marseille and Nice packed with supporters and mostly sold out.
Hundreds and possibly thousands will fly through London’s airports to get to the South of France. Others have opted for day trips on special charter flights and paying up to €450 each.
Yesterday, a special Ryanair flight from Cork to Marseille, that cost €430 earlier his month, was priced at just €220 leaving the door open for others to make a last minute decision to travel.
4,000 match tickets have already been scooped up in Munster with a further 1,000 fabs acquiring theirs as part of special match packages that also included flights and hotel accommodation.
It’s also understood that a large Irish population in France and other parts of Europe have purchased tickets directly from Toulon Rugby and other sources.
Munster Rugby Supporters Club (MRSC) Manager Ms Jennifer Kiernan said: “Munster have sold 4,000 tickets directly to supporters but we have had many queries after the deadline for unsold tickets to be returned to the ERC and have directed supporters to purchase directly from the Velodrome Stadium so we would expect up to 5,000 and 6,000 Munster supporters at the match.”
“Munster Sports Travel have over 1,000 fans travelling on their packages from Cork, Shannon and Dublin with others booked on other charter flights along with those on every scheduled flight available. We also expect a large number from both the UK and mainland Europe as indicated by members involved in our branches in London and Brussels,” Ms Kiernan said.
“It’s an expensive trip for supporters and everyone in Munster Rugby is most appreciative of the huge effort being made once again by the travelling support,” she added.
Video from Munster Rugby