Munster Rugby captain Peter O’Mahony is expecting another raucous Kingsholm Stadium occasion on Friday, when his side bid to take a giant leap towards the Heineken Champions Cup knockout stages with a victory at Gloucester Rugby.
The Irish province were beaten 13-12 by Castres Olympique in December to end their unbeaten record in this season’s competition, but they remain top of Pool 2 with 12 points.
Gloucester, on the other hand, are bottom with eight points, but they could overtake Munster with a bonus-point success on Friday night.
Munster have already beaten the English club 36-22 in Limerick, but the flanker insists they will be a different proposition under the lights at Kingsholm Stadium.
.@PeterOM6 has visited Kingsholm as a Munster supporter and a player with the Munster captain looking forward to another fierce contest in Gloucester on Friday night.#GLOvMUN #SUAF 🔴 pic.twitter.com/waNRpAkVsr
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) January 9, 2019
“I have been going there since I was small supporting Munster. It’s an incredible atmosphere,” said the Ireland back-row forward at Wednesday’s press conference. “They have an incredible passion for their team and their support around Europe is second to none.
“I just remember the noise, looking across at the Shed and the racket they make. I suppose they are similar to our own group [of fans] with how passionate and loyal they are.
“It’s always a great place, whether you’re a fan or whether you’re on the pitch. The atmosphere over there is certainly something you notice.”
Full-back Mike Haley – who scored his first Champions Cup try against Gloucester in Round 2 – also hailed the Kingsholm atmosphere.
“It’s definitely one of the great places to go in England,” he said. “They are really renowned for having a great crowd who are very vocal and get behind their team.
“It’s just a good place to go and play. I know years ago they had trouble with the pitch, so it wouldn’t have been great for a back-three player, but I think they have changed that now and I’m looking forward to it.”