Leo Cullen fondly remembers Anthony Foley
The Leinster coach spoke about their time as Ireland teammates ahead of trip to France
Leinster Rugby Head coach Leo Cullen speaks at a press conference ahead of their Champions Cup clash with Montpellier. Photo: Inpho
Cullen and Foley shared a similar career path, having come through the age grade ranks three years apart before both going on to captain and then coach their home provinces.
“It’s been a really strange week,” said Cullen. “It’s really hard to tell how other people react but for me personally Axel was somebody I knew and was aware of since I was 14 years of age. He was the number eight on the Irish schools tour in ‘92 that went to New Zealand. I was the number eight on the Irish school tour that went to Australia four years later in ‘96.
“I always would have watched him, been aware of him at that stage and his progression. When he made his debut for Ireland, I remember it well. Watching him with Shannon, watching him with Munster and going on to captain Munster.
“We played as teammates with Ireland and shared rooms together so it was a really tough time, to see what’s happened.
“It’s very difficult to have any reason to it. Our thoughts are with his family at the moment and obviously with all the Munster players and their staff as well. We can’t even imagine what they are going through at the moment. We wish them the very best for what’s ahead this weekend and beyond.”