Wednesday 13 December 2017

Back-row stalwart tells fans the good times will roll again

John Fallon

Denis Leamy has urged Munster fans to be patient. The 30-year-old, who yesterday confirmed his retirement through injury, is confident there will be a return to the glory days.

But with yet another pillar of their double Heineken Cup days bowing out, Leamy admitted that there will probably be some tough days ahead for the Red Army.

"I think it is going to be difficult. There is a hard road ahead. I think patience is going to be a big thing from everyone, from the players, coaches and from outside the playing group, the fans as well," said the Tipperary native.

"You can't expect these young players to turn into seasoned veterans overnight. They have to learn as much as we did along the way and learn form their losses."

But Leamy, who has battled to recover from hip surgery in January, has no doubts but that the raw material is there for Munster to regroup and become a major force again.

"I have been lucky enough to see them up close and they are a very, very good group of young players," he said.

"And there is still a group of the old heads like Paul O'Connell, Ronan O'Gara, Donncha O'Callaghan and Marcus Horan. They'll point them in the right direction and give them a good grounding about what they'll have to look forward to in the future."

Leamy, who had signed a two-year contract in February, played 145 games for Munster and 57 for Ireland.

His hopes of saving his career decreased with each passing month since January, but he still held out a faint hope until he revisited orthopaedic surgeon Richard Villar in Cambridge last week.

"The advice he gave me about my life down the line made it a really easy decision," he concluded.

Irish Independent

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