The Magners League Grand Final between Munster and Leinster at Thomond Park, Limerick on Saturday, 28 May (Kick-Off 5.05pm) will welcome the tournament’s millionth fan of the season.
Munster die-hard Paul Reals, who was born within a few hefty Ronan O’Gara punts of the famous ground, became the lucky winner of a special prize to recognise the 1,000,000 fan landmark and will go to the game in style.
His reward for taking tickets sales in the Magners League into seven figures for the first time is a hospitality ticket package and a visit to the centre of the field at half-time to receive a Magners League goody-bag from Celtic Rugby chairman Andy Irvine.
“It was a huge thrill to be told I was the one millionth fan to buy a ticket to a Magners League match this season and the prospect of going onto the hallowed turf at half-time is awesome,” said Reals.
“I was born at St Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital not far from the ground, and my Dad owned one of the houses that were bought to build the new Thomond Park. Munster rugby is in the blood and I’ve been a season ticket holder for the past three years – with next season’s ticket already bought!
“I haven’t missed a home match this season and the Magners League Grand Final is going to be an extra special occasion. I was at the game when we were presented with the Celtic Cup in 2003 and then the Magners League title in 2009.
“Now I’m hoping for an Irish double to end the season – Leinster to win in Cardiff at the weekend and then Munster to stop them doing the double by beating them in Limerick in the Magners League Grand Final.
“The gloves always come off when Munster play Leinster and this is going to be one of the biggest games between the two teams for a few years. It is going to be a great occasion and I’m just pleased I got a ticket to go.”
Leinster have taken 6,000 tickets for their fans and the signs are that the other 20,000 will all be snapped up by Munster fans by the beginning of next week. Already ticket sales have marched past 20,000 and it means more than 50,000 fans will have turned up for the Play-Off matches.