Situated in city of Limerick, west of the Shannon and with a current capacity of 25,630, Thomond Park has long been an institution for Munster rugby. From the heady days of 1978 when between 5,000 and 50,000 people came to see the province beat the great All-Blacks 12–0 to more recent feats of marvel against the like of Gloucester and Northampton in the Heineken Cup, Thomond Park has few rivals when it comes to cauldrons of noise on match-day weekends.
As well as offering fascinating spectacles of rugby, Thomond Park also plays host to the five basic pillars of Munster rugby, which every Munster fan should perform.
1. Pilgrimage: At least once in your lifetime, taking the trip to Thomond Park.
2. Charity: Throwing a few euros into a bucket for a local hospice outside the stadium or buying a couple of lottery tickets from the local U-15s in the pub before the match.
3. Fasting: Waiting until the half-time whistle and the Munster penalty kick that will bring the sides back to level before you rush out for a pint and a hot-dog.
4. Prayer: Rosaries and prayers to Paulie, Rog, Strings, Zeebs or whichever Munster saint past or present you see fit when you are down by two converted tries with just ten minutes to go.
5. Faith: Believing that Munster will pick and drive, pick and drive, pick and drive to score that fourth bonus-point try with the clock firmly in red.