Last weekend, Cork GAA honoured Dr Con Murphy at City Hall - a medical advisor and selector to 12 senior All-Ireland winning teams.

Stars from other sports were also present, including former Ireland rugby international and now RTÉ pundit Donal Lenihan.

And in mingling with the GAA's top brass in the Rebel County, Lenihan floated the idea of Munster Rugby playing high-profile games at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

"In talking to a lot of GAA people, there is a lot of debt that has to be serviced on the stadium and so there is an appetite to open the discussion," was his opening response when speaking on 2fm's Game On.

He then painted a scenario where rugby could be played down by the banks of the Lee.

"If Glasgow were to beat Saracens and Munster beat Edinburgh in their respective Champions Cup quarter-finals, then Munster are entitled to host a semi-final in Ireland.

"The law states that it can't be held in your home ground, so that rules out Thomond Park. The obvious candidate would be the Aviva Stadium. However, given that Munster supporters have travelled far and wide it would be great if the match happened in the province itself.

"If the semi-final draw doesn't work out, it's a debate I think that needs to happen."


While accepting that Thomond Park will always be the home of Munster, Lenihan feels that staging games in Páirc Uí Chaoimh would bring a "carnival atmosphere" to the southern capital and cited the recent success of the Liam Miller tribute match and the possibility of Leinster coming down for a Pro14 encounter, as cases in point.

He added: "There are times you have to shift your matches to other venues, when commercial reality comes into play.  

"Munster Rugby are under pressure, they need finances in terms of servicing their own debt on Thomond Park, as are the Cork county board.

"It would be win-win for all concerned."