Tuesday 6 December 2016

Fit flanker key to any success for province

David Wallace

Published 08/01/2016 | 02:30

Munster's Tommy O'Donnell comes on Photo:©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Munster's Tommy O'Donnell comes on Photo:©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

It's amazing the difference a week can make in the fickle game that is rugby.

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After the defeat to Leinster, albeit the fifth in a row, there was talk about whether this Munster team could ever bounce back to past glories.

They haven't won a Champions Cup this week, or even gone top of the Pro12, but the win over Ulster at Kingspan Stadium was a massive statement from this team.

It came at such a good time, Tommy O'Donnell is just back from that horrific injury and it's no coincidence that Munster picked things up again once he got back into the squad.

He was a replacement against Leinster, but had much more of an influence starting the game against Ulster. Every team needs their out-and-out openside, and that is what he provides.

I crossed paths with him a few weeks ago in the gym, and he's in tip-top shape. From what I heard he put in a huge amount of work before he got injured, and his physique shows it.

It was great too to see Ian Keatley back in form. He had a rough few weeks, and the break seemed to do him the world of good.

Irish Independent

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