Donncha O’Callaghan On A Roy Keane Speech That Changed Munster Forever
The day that changed Munster and Irish Rugby forever.
Donncha O’Callaghan is back again today with another fantastic column in The Times, that is well worth a read. In it he discusses how a speech from Roy Keane back in 2005, helped change the mindset of both Munster and Irish Rugby forever.
Munster were in England ahead of a Heineken Cup pool game with Sale. The day before Keane arrived at their hotel to say a few words, asking that whatever he said remained in the room. What exactly he said, will remain a mystery, but it had a profound effect on the players.
“That day Keane spoke to us in Manchester, we were sponges to the information he gave us. Axel, a huge Manchester United fan, interrogated him with questions. “I don’t mind telling you lads but when I arrived here, my nutrition and diet was the worst at the club,” Keane said. By the time he left, a few weeks after our meeting in 2005, it was the best.
Heading away from that talk, we all resolved to change. Even that night, as Roy was speaking to us, Deccie had arranged for pizzas to be delivered to the team room. Normally there’d be a scrap to grab as much of it as we could.
But this time, there were only two slices eaten, one by Freddie, the other by Anton. The rest of us were too embarrassed to consider going near it while Keane was there. To me, It was one of the most inspirational speeches I’d ever heard.”
That season Munster won their first Heineken Cup…