Friday 20 April 2018

Injury won't stop brothers being on the ball for charity

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

THREE weeks ago David Wallace was forced to cut short his glittering rugby career because of injury.

But yesterday, David was at Trinity College Dublin to launch a charity cycle with his rugby-playing brothers, Paul and Richard, to raise €100,000 for cancer research at St James's Hospital and Trinity College.

The three brothers will get on their bikes to cycle 700km from Mizen to Malin Head in September.

And after 15 years on the rugby frontline, the former Munster and Ireland man is still feeling new injuries, despite not playing.

"There does seem to be more injuries in the game and maybe the collisions are getting a little more intense," he told the Irish Independent yesterday.

"Even my back in the last week since I stopped has given me trouble.

"The hits are more frequent as well, which is probably the main point about it.

"It just shows you that you have to be at the peak of your fitness or else you just won't survive."

The 36-year-old flanker announced his retirement earlier this month after failing to recover fully from a knee injury, which he sustained before the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Paul also had his career cut short when he suffered an injury on a frozen pitch, while a number of David's teammates, including Jerry Flannery and Denis Leamy, have retired injured in recent months -- raising concerns about the increased physicality of the game.

"There's going to be a lot of wear and tear," David said yesterday.

"When you're playing, the lads would joke about it saying that, when we're 40 we're going to feel it.

"I think joints-wise it will certainly take its toll in some ways. That's why it's so important to remain active and keep the body moving because the joints need that.

"Ten years ago I was told I had the ankles of a 70-year-old but just by playing professional rugby they have remained sustainable."

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