Munster Rugby have announced an historic fixture against the Crusaders.
Munster are set to take on Crusaders in a ‘Clash of Champions’ fixture on February 3 (5pm KO).
The game is billed as a world first as the URC Champions face off with the Super Rugby champions to elect an unoffical world champion.
Interestingly, former Munster head coach Rob Penney was recently appointed as Crusaders head coach, allowing him to reunite with the province for the first time since his departure in 2014.
Penney led Munster to two consecutive Heineken Cup semi-finals in 2013 and 2014 but left after turning down a new contract to take up an opportunity in Japan.
Munster announce Crusaders date.
Munster Rugby CEO, Ian Flanagan said: “We are delighted to welcome the Super Rugby champions to Munster, hosting a groundbreaking fixture against the Crusaders.
“We hold a proud and rich history of playing touring sides and I’ve no doubt next February’s game will be a special occasion for all involved.”
Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said: “The Crusaders are thrilled to be coming over to Ireland and the UK to face some stiff competition away from home.
“NZ and Australian clubs have been working on the World Club Competition for years, so when an opportunity for Super teams to play Northern Hemisphere counterparts came up, it was just too good to pass up.
“Munster have a history of giving touring sides a pretty hard time, so they present particularly tough competition.
“There’s also the added connection with our new Head Coach Rob Penney who coached there,” Mansbridge said.
Clash of the Champions
Munster Rugby say that the venue and ticket details will be announced in due course.
There is speculation that the game will take place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh where Munster beat South Africa back in November.
Thomond Park in Limerick is, of course, another option but it is already being used for September’s match between Munster and the Barbarians, so there could be temptation on Munster’s part to diversify the venues for the two games.