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Castres Away – The Village

20th December 2018 By Munster Rugby Supporters Club

Castres Away – The Village

We are lucky to have the opportunity to travel to European away games year after year, each one creates memories and moments that are unique and encapsulates why we love our Club. The thing is often it is not about the match result, the W or L in the table more about the fun and images that we the Munster Supporters make when we are together.

We are lucky to have the opportunity to travel to European away games year after year, each one creates memories and moments that are unique and encapsulates why we love our Club. The thing is often it is not about the match result, the W or L in the table more about the fun and images that we the Munster Supporters make when we are together.

Each trip becomes the best weekend with the Red Army constantly traveling in high numbers and filling stadiums with colour and noise.

It is in this mind-set that MRSC members took up the gracious offer to embed ourselves in the village called Lasgraisses 20 minutes’ drive from Castres – for the Champions Cup tie against the French Champions two weeks ago.

We arrived at the airport to be met by the inventor of the amazing idea Hubert and it was very clear from Hubert and his companions was that they were truly excited by having us in their homes for the weekend.

What transpired over the 3 days is actually hard to put into words as the level of welcome and care we received was to be honest; humbling. Every evening we would gather in the hall in the picturesque village to eat communally with our hosts and extended families, being a rural village we were faced with a gastronomical journey across French cuisine, each villager preparing different food from his farm.

We gave our hosts a Munster jersey from our team and a signed ball and in return, they gave us a jersey from the local team of Albi.

The morning after the game, we gathered in the misting main square – cars from the various village points dropping back the Red Army ambassadors that stayed with them. I had an opportunity to step back and watch as embraces, hugs and some tears shed, as we all know we had experienced & shared in something unique that is hard to put into words.

The Villagers of Lasgraisses have a community like us that is special and by pure spirit all that is good about the game of Rugby.

“We rise by lifting each other” was never more apt as for that weekend.

Head coach Johann Van Graan saw the Castres stay as another example of the community forged by the MRSC:
“It was great to hear our supporters were shown such warm hospitality by the local support base. In keeping with the spirit of the game the relationships forged between Munster fans and opposition sides is always recognised no matter where we travel to, and it is a respect that is shared across the rugby community.

I am glad to hear all enjoyed a fantastic experience and I look forward to seeing our supporters over the coming weeks as we travel to Belfast, Galway, Gloucester, and of course welcome everyone to Thomond Park for Leinster and Exeter.”

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