The Stormers and WP fans cheered Damian de Allende for seven years, but the Springbok says he “never played at a club” with more passionate support at away games than Munster.
The Bok midfielder, set to leave Munster for Japan at the end of the season, made 118 appearances for the Cape teams after his debut in 2012, most of those in front of a raucous and packed Newlands.
Capetonians have even shown their love on the Highveld, with large pockets of fans in Stormers and WP jerseys at Loftus Versfeld for annual north-south derbies.
The 58-Test centre is excited about performing in front of the Irish again on Saturday when Munster host Toulouse in the Champions Cup quarter-final at Aviva Stadium.
Speaking to Irish media about feeding off the crowd’s energy and the travelling Red Army, the 30-year-old said: “It’s been incredible to play in a full Thomond Park, it was exceptional.
“I’ve never played at a club where I’ve gone to an away game and there’s been more supporters from the away team. When we played against Wasps and Exeter it felt like there were more Munster fans there than the home fans, so for me that was incredible.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen something like that and to interact with the fans after those games is nice, especially here at Thomond Park, to walk along the field and take pictures with fans at Thomond Park.
“Whatever happens, happens, but I will leave here with a big smile on my face with lots of happy memories that are made here in Munster.”
De Allende scored the try to beat Exeter and advance Munster to the quarter-finals. “I don’t have a favourite try but the Exeter one was incredible in Thomond Park. The last time I felt energy like that was when I scored a try against Wales in the World Cup semi-final. It was exceptional. And if I score in the next few weeks, hopefully I can feel the same energy from the crowd.
“I think the atmosphere on Saturday is going to be incredible but I think the energy on the field is going to be … I can’t explain it but I get that feeling of it’s going to be a cracker of a game on Saturday afternoon.”