by John Fallon
There are no plans to have Limerick hurlers and the Liam MacCarthy Cup on display at Thomond Park tomorrow (SAT) when the new rugby season kicks off but there may be a link-up with the two bodies further down the road.
Last year Galway hurlers and the trophy were guests of honour at the Sportsground for Connacht's opening game of the season a week after they won the All-Ireland for the first time in 29 years.
But a Munster spokesperson pointed out that neither Clare or Tipperary were invited in to display the trophy when they won the All-Ireland title in 2013 and 2016.
It is also believed that the Munster hierarchy are keen to avoid the side becoming a 'Limerick' team given that their training base is in UL, they play most of their matches at Thomond Park and majority of the rugby players now live in the city.
Ireland and Munster wing Keith Earls was one of a number of people invited by hurling manager John Kiely to address the Limerick squad during the summer as they set about winning their first All-Ireland title since 1973.
Munster coach Johann van Graan, who is hoping for a winning start to their PRO14 campaign when they host the Cheetahs tomorrow (SAT) said he has been enthralled by hurling and the manner in which the victory has been celebrated.
"I come from a city bigger than Limerick and just the way they embraced that final was incredible to see," said the South African.
"I said last week I think Ireland can be very proud of a sport they enjoy this much and to sell out a stadium of 80,000 or whatever the capacity is there for finals and semi-finals and get the reactions they did is incredible."
He said that Limerick's success hadn't increased the desire of his squad to end their barren spell which now stretches back to 2011 when they won the Celtic League for the third time.
"I came here to win trophies and like I said before the hunger has been here even before me so it's just a reminder of how good it can be if you win a trophy.
"But to me personally that's why I came here, to be part of a very successful side so a good reminder for us of what things can be like but to me it's not about Limerick it's about the people of Munster that's the most important thing," added van Graan.
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