Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus also spoke at the press conference
Munster's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and captain Peter O'Mahony have paid tribute to Anthony Foley at an emotional press conference in Limerick.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Foley's death last weekend, Erasmus paid his condolences to the Foley and Hogan and families, and confirmed that Munster's game against Glasgow Warriors will take place this Satuday as has been scheduled.
"Life is greater than any other sport and sporting occasion", Erasmus read from a statement. "However, Thomond Park held a very special place in Axel's heart. As difficult as it will be to play the next game, no matter the time, the opposition or the venue, we now have the opportunity to play there this Saturday."
"That is something that is hugely important to all of us. Playing in Thomond Park further ties us to his memory. It will be a chance for all of us, including the supporters and the community to feel the connection and closeness to him at this time."
Erasmus added that Foley will be on the team's mind throughout the week. Remembering the head coach will be the main focus of Saturday's game he added.
"Talking to a lot of people who know him much longer than I do, and I think Peter will back me on this. He would never want us to say to the game is secondary. but it will be. It's all about Anthony this week."
An emotional O'Mahony, who found it difficult to speak at times spoke about the man he grew up idolising as a player, and ended up playing under as the province's captain.
"My first game that he coached me with Munster, his first coaching game was a Munster Under-20s game in Thomond Park. We won it 3-0 ironically enough. That suited Axel as good as if we beaten them by 60 or 70 points. He was a man who wanted any Munster jersey to win at any cost."
Munster captain Peter O'Mahony and Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
"I'm not going to do him any justice here, with all the words I could say. Personally, he's meant a huge amount. I haven't supported a Munster team that he wasn't in. He's been there since the start. Every team that I supported that wore a red jersey, he was in or has coached. The amount he has meant to the club, you can't put that into words."
"I was lucky that he was in my position as well. The knowledge he could give to me, at times was frustrating for him... He found it hard it at times to understand why we couldn't see what he could see. That was probably how we frustrated him most."
"The amount that we have now lost that he's gone is incredible. The rugby knowledge, and the brain, and the man, and the friend, and the coach and the brother that we've lost. It's mad."
Erasmus also hinted that the team may not play for a few weeks after Saturday's game.
"We don't want to get this opportunity and miss it. If we don't play this weekend, it might be a while before we play again. We dont want to miss this opportunity for him. It's a tough choice, but easy in a way."
Win, lose or draw this weekend, Saturday's game will become a celebration of the life of the man who captained the province to their first Heineken Cup triumph.