As the club with the fewest red and yellow cards or citings during 2007/08, Munster Rugby has been awarded â0¬13,000 by Specsavers, the official optical partner and referee sponsor for the Magners League. The â0¬13,000 will be used to fund development in junior clubs within the Munster region.
Munster Rugby star Anthony Foley commented 'It's fundamental to the future of rugby that teams recognise the importance of every match's referee. At Munster Rugby we acknowledge how vital referees are to the game, insuring fair play, and we believe as one of the competition's leading clubs that we must strive to set the standard. We are thrilled to win this award and would like to thank Specsavers for the donation which will be put to help to coach Munster players of the future.'
Specsavers chairperson in Ireland Hugh Morris said 'Rugby is a game of passion and I am delighted to reward Munster Rugby for showing exemplary conduct on the pitch. As opticians, we understand that vision is vital to good sportsmanship and our sponsorship helps to ensure our referees are seeing clearly - something that is sure to resonate with the referees and fans. Munster played exceptionally throughout the Magners League, highlighting that winning results can come from clean conduct on and off the pitch. With the 2008/09 Magners League about to commence we hope that the recognition of Munster's conduct will encourage the need for 'fairplay' in rugby.'
David Jordan, director of Celtic Rugby added 'discipline has always been a central theme in the game of rugby union, as your opponents can quickly gain advantage from any indiscretions on the pitch. It is good to see that Specavers, who already sponsor our match officials, have extended their commitment to Magners League rugby by introducing this award, that recognises the team with the best disciplinary record throughout the season. I must congratulate Munster Rugby on their discipline on the pitch and on becoming the winners of the inaugural Specsavers Fairlplay League'.
Munster Rugby was awarded six yellow cards which totaled 6 points for the 2007/08 season, closely followed by the Glasgow Warriors who narrowly missed out on the top spot with only seven points. Magners League winners Leinster came in with nine points. Ospreys and Edinburgh Rugby finished the league collecting ten points whilst Llanelli Scarlets, Ulster and Cardiff Blues came in with 14 points. Connacht received 15 points and Newport Gwent Dragons tallied up 21 points in total.
With the first Magners League match kicking off the weekend of 6 September, Specsavers' continued support for the Magners League will once again see the logo emblazoned on match officials' shirts, perimeter boards and media backdrops at each club.