|Public transit|| Limerick railway station |
Ballynanty Road bus stop
|Owner||Irish Rugby Football Union|
|Capacity||25,600 (15,100 seated)|
| Munster Rugby |
UL Bohemian RFC
Limerick FC (2013–2015)
Thomond Park is a stadium in Limerick in the Irish province of Munster. The stadium is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Unionand has Munster Rugby, Shannon RFC and UL Bohemian RFC as tenants. Limerick FC played home games in Thomond Park from 2013 to 2015 in the League of Ireland while the Markets Field was being redeveloped. The capacity of the stadium is 25,600 following its large-scale redevelopment in 2008.
The stadium holds a special place in rugby due to its own unique history and atmosphere.The stadium is famed for its noise during play and the complete silence while home and away players are kicking for goal. Munster also retained an intimidating 12-year unbeaten run at Thomond in the Heineken Cup—running from the competition's start in 1995 until 2007 when the Leicester Tigers broke the streak with a 13–6 win. On 31 October 1978 Munster celebrated their historic 12–0 victory over the All Blacks in front 12,000 fans at Thomond Park.
Thomond Park (named after the medieval kingdom of Thomond) originally consisted of two pitches, the main pitch and a training pitch. The main pitch was bounded on all sides by terracing with a stand above the west terrace. The training pitch was behind the west stand with the Shannon R.F.C. pavilion in the southwest corner of the ground. The UL Bohemian R.F.C. pavilion was within the west stand.
Traditionally, the former terracing and four sides of the pitch had local nicknames, however they have since fallen out of local parlance. The most famous of these was the east terrace, which was known among fans as the "Popular side", this sat opposite the "Stand side", joining the "City End" (South Terrace) with the "Ballynanty End" (North Terrace).The "Popular side" gained notoriety in local rugby folklore for the colourful comments that can be heard emanating from local wags and alickadoos in the direction of the pitch, occasionally drawing reaction from players and officials, to the amusement of other attendants.
Prior to redevelopment, the official capacity of Thomond Park was 13,000.The highest pre-redevelopment official attendance in Thomond Park was 18,000 people and occurred in 1992 in a local derby in the All-Ireland League between clubs Shannon RFC and Garryowen FC.
In 1998 and 1999, following the introduction of the professional era, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) spent several million pounds on floodlighting, terracing, toilets, medical facilities and a new pitch for the ground. In January 2006, the Munster Branch of the IRFU made offers to buy some adjacent houses to expand the stadium. In March 2006 the IRFU and Munster Rugby announced that Thomond Park was unanimously selected for the site of the branch's new stadium, and in May 2006 the design for the re-development was unveiled.Work started in early 2007, and the project was completed for a re-opening in Autumn 2008.
The principal elements of the project saw the erection of two new stands adjacent to the existing main pitch, with a seating capacity of 15,100 and terrace capacity of 10,530, or 25,630 in all.
It was thought that Thomond Park would be renamed in a sponsorship deal, following its redevelopment.However, it was confirmed in February 2008 that the name Thomond Park would remain the same, with naming rights being sold for the individual stands instead.
Thomond Park is well known for its atmosphere. During a rugby match, the home fans can be heard singing songs such as "The Fields of Athenry" and "Stand Up and Fight". These two songs play a vital role in Munster rugby as they are Munster's anthems. Donal Spring, one of the heroes of 1978, credits the spectators for its unique ethos: "What's so special about Thomond Park? The crowd. Simply the crowd. The atmosphere is electric. Of all the places I've played, playing with Munster at Thomond Park is what I’ve enjoyed most."
The home crowd is also famous for its silence when a team's kicker is kicking for goal. This has been known to put the away team's kicker off, although it is done out of respect.
In August 2013 Thomond Park was awarded the title of 'Best Rugby Stadium in the World' following a vote by rugby supporters across the globe.
Limerick has hosted 13 Ireland internationals, 12 of which were held at Thomond Park, four of which were full internationals. The results are as follows:
|Ireland Senior Test Matches|
|19 March 1898||Ireland||Wales *||3 – 11||1898 Home Nations Championship||est. 10–15,000|
|7 September 2002||Ireland||Romania||39 – 8||Friendly||8,000|
|30 August 2003||Ireland||Italy||61 – 6||Friendly (warm up for 2003 Rugby World Cup)||14,000|
|8 November 2008||Ireland||Canada||55 – 0||Friendly||21,500|
|*The match was played at the County Cricket Grounds on what is now the Limerick Lawn Tennis Club.|
Updated as of 22 April 2021.
|Ireland Uncapped International Matches|
|10 March 1990||Ireland U25||United States||12 – 10|
|8 September 1990||Ireland U25||Spain||36 – 17||1990 Spain rugby union tour|
|20 October 1990||Ireland B||Argentina||27 – 12||1990 Argentina rugby union tour of British Isles|
|20 March 1998||Ireland A||Wales A||27 – 42||7,000|
|15 November 2000||Ireland A||South Africa XV||28 – 11||2000 South Africa tour of Argentina, Britain and Ireland|
|16 November 2006||Ireland A||Australia A||17 – 24||2006 Australia rugby union tour of Europe||6,500|
|4 June 2010||Ireland||Barbarian F.C. *||23 – 29||Friendly||25,600|
|17 November 2012||Ireland XV||Fiji†||53 – 0||Guinness Autumn International Series||17,126|
|28 May 2015||Ireland||Barbarian F.C. *||21 – 22||Friendly||16,111|
|*Neither match against the Barbarians was considered a full international.|
|†An Ireland XV side played this match. Irish players were not awarded caps.|
Updated as of 22 April 2021.
Thomond Park held the Irish heats of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games over the course of four days in June 2010.
At Thomond Park, Limerick F.C. played Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland Shield, BSC Young Boys in the 1960 European Cup and Torino in the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup. From 2013 to 2015, Limerick F.C. played Airtricity League home fixtures at Thomond Park. They also have played Manchester City FC twice in friendlies in 1992 and 2012.
The Republic of Ireland national football team played two international friendlies in Thomond during the construction of the Aviva Stadium. The first, on 12 August 2009 against Australia drew a crowd just above 19,000. Australia won 3–0. Ireland played and defeated South Africa 1–0 at Thomond on 8 September 2009 to a crowd of 11,300.
Thomond hosted an International Champions Cup match between Internazionale and Celtic on 13 August 2016 with Internazionale winning 2–0.
|Ireland International Football Matches|
|12 August 2009||Republic of Ireland||0–3||Australia||Friendly||19,000|
|8 September 2009||Republic of Ireland||2–1||South Africa||Friendly||11,300|
On 5 November 2011, the stadium hosted its first Rugby league game when Ireland took on France.On 9 November 2013, Thomond Park hosted Ireland's 2013 Rugby League World Cup Group A match with Australia.
|International Rugby League Matches|
|5 November 2011||Ireland||16–34||France||Test match||3,100|
|9 November 2013||Ireland||0–50||Australia||2013 Rugby League World Cup||5,021|
The highest pre-redevelopment official attendance in Thomond Park came in 1992 when a local derby in the All-Ireland League between clubs Shannon RFC and Garryowen FC saw an attendance of 18,000 people.Munster's average league attendance for the 2013–14 Pro12 season was 12,334 Munster's average league attendance for the 2014–15 Pro12 season was 13,179, the third highest in the league.
Croke Park is a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is referred to as Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal national stadium of Ireland and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling.
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is the body managing rugby union in the island of Ireland. The IRFU has its head office at 10/12 Lansdowne Road and home ground at Aviva Stadium, where adult men's Irish rugby union international matches are played. In addition, the Union also owns the Ravenhill Stadium in Belfast, Thomond Park in Limerick and a number of grounds in provincial areas that have been rented to clubs.
Lansdowne Road Stadium was a stadium in Dublin owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) that was primarily used for rugby union and association football matches. The stadium was demolished in 2007 to make way for the Aviva Stadium on the same site, which opened in 2010.
Munster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland. They compete in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup. The team represents the IRFU's Munster Branch, which is responsible for rugby union throughout the Irish province of Munster. The team motto is "To the brave and faithful, nothing is impossible." This is derived from the motto of the MacCarthy clan – "Forti et Fideli nihil difficile". Their main home ground is Thomond Park, Limerick, though some games are played at Musgrave Park, Cork.
Leinster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby union teams from the island of Ireland and the most successful Irish team domestically. They compete in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup.
Murrayfield Stadium is a Rugby stadium located in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It has a seating capacity of 67,144 making it the largest stadium in Scotland and the fifth largest in the United Kingdom.
Fitzgerald Stadium is the principal GAA stadium in Killarney, Ireland, and is the home championship venue for the Kerry senior football team.
Windsor Park is a football stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is the home ground of Linfield F.C. who own the land the stadium is built on, while the Irish Football Association own and operate the stadium and pay Linfield an annual rental fee for the use of the land on behalf of the Northern Ireland national football team. The stadium is usually where the Irish Cup final is played.
The Gaelic Grounds, know for sponsorshop reasons as the TUS Gaelic Grounds, is the principal GAA stadium in the Irish city of Limerick, home to the Limerick hurling and football teams. It has a capacity of 44,023.
Musgrave Park is a rugby football stadium in the city of Cork, Ireland. The ground is situated on Pearse Road in Ballyphehane. The ground is named after Jimmy Musgrave, a past-president of the Irish Rugby Football Union. Owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), it is primarily used by Dolphin RFC, Sundays Well RFC, and Munster Rugby.
Shannon Rugby Football Club is the most successful club in the All Ireland League, having won the competition nine times. They hail from Limerick near the banks of the Shannon river. Shannon RFC is a member of the Irish Rugby Football Union Munster Branch. The club is one of the top amateur sides in Ireland has seen many of its players progress to professional and international rugby. The 1st XV plays in Division 1B of the All-Ireland League. While the women's side compete in Division 1 of the Munster League. Shannon RFC fields underage teams for boys and girls from u6s - u20s. Shannon RFC made history in 2017 as being the first club in the country to field a girls u20s side.
Rodney Parade is a stadium in the city of Newport, South Wales, owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union. It is located on the east bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre. The ground is on Rodney Road, a short walk from the city's central bus and railway stations via Newport Bridge or Newport City footbridge. There is no spectator car park at the ground but a number of multi-storey car parks are nearby.
Rugby union in Ireland is a very popular team sport. Rugby union is organised on an all-Ireland basis with one national team, governing body and league for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Founded in 1879, the Irish Rugby Football Union is the third-oldest rugby union after England and Scotland, and was formed two years prior to the Welsh Rugby Union.
The Sportsground, also known as The Galway Sportsgrounds and the Galway Greyhound Stadium and the Connacht Rugby Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Galway, Ireland. It opened in 1927, with the playing of a football match and has been used to host Connacht Rugby matches and greyhound racing since that time.
Peter Clohessy is an Irish former rugby union player, who played for Munster, Queensland Reds and Ireland. He played as a prop and was known by his fans as "The Claw". He played most of his career at tighthead prop but later switched to loosehead.
Bruff Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club in County Limerick, Ireland. As at April 2022 it was playing in Division 2C of the All-Ireland League. The club plays at home in Kilballyowen Park, near the town of Bruff in County Limerick. As at the 2017/18 season they were fielding 16 rugby teams at the club including 3 men's adult squads, girls' youth, minis and boys' youth rugby teams ranging in age from under-7 to under-18.
Totally Wicked Stadium is a rugby league stadium in the Peasley Cross area of St. Helens. Known as Langtree Park until 2017, it has a capacity of over 18,000 and is the home ground of St Helens R.F.C. The stadium was granted full planning permission on 20 May 2008. On 11 July 2008 the go-ahead was given without the need for a public enquiry and construction started in 2010. The first rugby league match to be played at the stadium was between St. Helens and Widnes on Friday 20 January 2012. St. Helens won the opening game by 42-24 and they moved in ready for the 2012 Super League season. Liverpool F.C. U18s also play their home games at the stadium.
Aviva Stadium is a sports stadium located in Dublin, Ireland, with a capacity for 51,700 spectators. It is built on the site of the former Lansdowne Road Stadium, which was demolished in 2007, and replaced it as home to its chief tenants: the Irish rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland football team. The decision to redevelop the stadium came after plans for both Stadium Ireland and Eircom Park fell through. Aviva Group Ireland signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights in 2009.
Headingley Rugby Stadium shares the same site as Headingley Cricket Ground and is home to Leeds Rhinos. Headingley is the 5th largest rugby league stadium in England.