Defence Forces support Leinster in Lebanon
February 11, 2014 12:00 am client
Leinster Rugby has supporters all over the world. From Australia to America, Churchtown to China, you’ll find someone supporting the boys in blue.
One country, you may be surprised to hear, which has its own supporters club of sorts, is Lebanon.
A division of the Irish Defence Forces, which serves in the area, can count 40 Leinster supporters among its ranks.
LeinsterRugby.ie recently spoke to Corporal David Brannigan about following Leinster from the Lebanon, the debate among supporters of the four provinces and coming home for the match against the Dragons on Valentine’s Day.
But before that, do the Leinster supporters in the Lebanon actually get to see Leinster play?
“Yes, we do get to see the games,” Corporal Brannigan says.
“We are lucky enough to have TV channels that show both PRO12 and Heineken Cup games. The only problem is the time difference as we are two hours ahead of you guys back home.”
Despite the late kick offs, David isn’t the only one up watching Leinster.
“Out of the 180 personnel here, about 80 would be rugby supporters,” David explains,”and then about 40 would be Leinster supporters.”
With the rest of the rugby supporters in the barracks each following one of the other three provinces, some friendly debates about which team comes out on top are not uncommon: “There’s the normal workplace banter but there is also plenty of discussion regarding upcoming games and match draws. Of course everyone thinks they have the harder run of games. There is also the pride factor where everyone thinks their province is the best, but as we all know Leinster holds that title of ‘the best in the land’.”
David has been supporting Leinster for many years, but there are two moments in particular that stand out in his mind.
“Two games that stand out for me are ones that I was lucky enough to attend. The Heineken Cup semi-final against Munster in Croke Park, with that fantastic BOD try. The second game is the Heineken Cup final against Leicester in Murrayfield; great game and atmosphere. It was nice to be there to finally see the players and management get the reward for all their hard work.”
The next time David sees Leinster play it will be in the RDS when Leinster take on Dragons on Valentine’s Day. When asked if he’s looking forward to it, the answer is a very clear yes!
“I’m really looking forward to getting home and relaxing at the game!”
Are you a Leinster supporter living abroad or supporting the boys in blue from the other side of the world? We want to hear from you! Send us your photos on Twitter and Facebook, and you too could be on the Leinster website!
Check out the OLSC’s official overseas bases, and worldwide broadcasters for coverage of future games.