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AFL to give Munster rugby club refit a try - images

Stadium expert AFL Architects has been chosen to redesign Munster Rugby Club's famous Thormond Park home in Limerick in the Irish Republic.

The Eu40 million (£28 million) project for the current Heineken Cup holders will increase the ground's capacity to 26,000 with the addition of 15,000 seats.

The existing terraces will be retained, offering standing space for 11,000 supporters, and there are plans for new corporate hospitality facilities and modernised changing rooms.

Describing the background to the scheme, AFL director John Roberts said: 'From the outset, our main focus for the redevelopment of the Munster ground at Thormond Park was to retain the stadium's special atmosphere while expanding overall capacity.

'With the Irish so passionate about rugby, our plan was to embrace existing elements of the ground that the supporters enjoy, enhance facilities and ultimately the experience for all the fans.'

He added: 'The key to delivering this is the inclusion of a 90m optimum viewing distance [as well as] retaining the close proximity to the pitch for spectators.'

A planning application for the scheme, which is being drawn up with Irish-based practice Murray O'Laorie Architects, is expected to be submitted in the next few weeks.

by Richard Waite

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