Munster once staged a Last Man Standing event, with a surprise winner 1 month ago

Munster once staged a Last Man Standing event, with a surprise winner

Can only imagine the carnage that unfolded.

As team bonding experiences go, marking out a big fight pit and holding a WWE-style 'Last Man Standing' scrap takes some topping. One cannot imagine such a dust-up being given the go-ahead in today's game but an infamous one took place around a decade ago and left those involved with more than a few bumps and bruises.

This week saw former Munster and Ireland star Jerry Flannery make his debut appearance on the UK's House of Rugby. Flannery joined host Alex Payne and Rob Vickerman in London to discuss World Cup warm-ups, coaching Arsenal footballers and team bonding.

Vickerman noted that Exeter back-row Matt Kvesic would surely win a modern-day, English version of Last Man Standing. That sparked a recollection for Flannery and he began:

"I tell you, we did that sh** with Munster, years ago. It was crazy...

"Yeah Quinny, Paulie, all the lads. I think what Munster wanted to do was ramp up the competition within the squad and make it much more niggly.

"They split the squad into four, so there was a grey team, an orange team, a blue team and maybe a red team. Split it up so we had a even mix of forwards and backs. They ended up by saying, 'We're going to have a King of the Ring'.

"We were at a training camp in Portugal and they put a big circle around and put everyone in and said, 'Who is going to be last man in there?'

"Honestly, man, you had to get people out of the circle. We hadn't really thought about [strategies] but after a while we started figuring it out. You're thinking, 'Right, that's John Hayes. I'm not going to get him out'.

"But it ended up that John Hayes might be throwing someone out at the edge and you'd run in, drop your shoulder and hit him in the lower back to get him out.

"Then it ended up with three guys on one guy. It was like prison, man. They were running after him.

"I think Sammy Tuitupou won it. He was an animal in there, man. Very, very powerful."

Tuitupou only played one season for Munster - 2010/11 - but he made one hell of an impression.

In a Munster squad that contained the fearsome likes of Hayes, Paul O'Connell, Alan Quinlan, Donnacha Ryan and Tony Buckley, the 5-foot-9 Kiwi was King of the Ring, last man standing. A somewhat surprising victor but any lad that can lift up Devin Toner like a sack of spuds must have fancied his fighting chances.

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