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Munster Set Sail
4 April 2003, 3:00 am
The operation to lift the expected 12,000 + Munster fans from Ireland to Toulouse began Thursday when the advance party left Cork Airport on the team charter.
The operation to lift the expected 12,000 + Munster fans from Ireland to Toulouse began Thursday when the advance party left Cork Airport on the team charter.

That flight was scheduled to depart at 1pm but was delayed and eventually took off at 2.50 Irish time with Alan Gaffney and his squad accompanied by Munster Branch officials, media and supporters alike. The one hour forty minute flight landed without incident in a balmy Toulouse Blagnac airport and the Munster team were transferred by coach to their nearby Sofitel hotel.

After checking in, the team adjourned to the hotel tennis complex for a usual limbering-up exercise and afterwards made the 15 minute journey into Toulouse Centre Ville for their evening meal.

Today (Friday), the squad will have up until 11am to partake of breakfast before the morning rituals begin. At 12 noon, Ronan O Gara will travel to Le Stade de Toulouse for the a kicking session although there was some doubt that this normal practice would in fact go ahead as unforeseen obstacles seemed to come into play for some unexplained reason.

There is the official joint press conference at 12.30 at which Munster and Toulouse are set to name their starting line-ups and later in the afternoon, the Munster squad will visit the match venue for the traditional pitch walk-out.

After that the captains run will take place at a venue as yet unknown, again because this particular exercise is not allowed take place on the pitch where the actual game will take place and this despite the fact that Toulouse have had uninterrupted access to the same pitch since it was announced that the semi final would take place there.

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