Monday 9 December 2019

Wallace eager to build on starring role as he targets Toulon scalp

Hugh Farrelly

AFTER setting up Munster's crucial bonus point with a stunning 40-metre run against London Irish last weekend, David Wallace is desperate to get stuck into Toulon at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Wallace came off the bench for the injured Niall Ronan in the first half but, having come through problems with a back injury, he says he is ready to go at Munster's wealthy French visitors from the off if called upon to do so.

"The back is very good. I'm not even thinking about it, which is a good sign," said Wallace. "Every player wants to be starting but the back row has been playing very well. I didn't have too much rugby during my pre-season and was probably a bit rusty on a few things. It was great to get 50 minutes last weekend and sharpen up."

Ronan -- who was having an excellent game until he sustained a nasty gash to the head -- Denis Leamy and No 8 James Coughlan started last week and, along with Wallace, got through a mountain of back-row work, particularly when Munster dominated the second half.

With Alan Quinlan also in the mix, it means coach Tony McGahan is selecting from a position of strength. He could opt to leave it as is or go for a 'horses for courses' selection, with the intention of physically wearing down the French through the likes of Wallace and Quinlan before bringing on the mobility of Ronan and Coughlan.

All will be revealed with the team announcement tomorrow but, whether starting or on the bench, the glimpses of 'vintage' Wallace last weekend will encourage Munster.

"I don't know about vintage, it might mean you're old," said the 34-year-old with a smile. "I was just happy to get ball and a bit of space. I haven't really had the chance to pump the legs yet this season. It was just good we were able to score off it (the 40-metre run) and I came away thinking I gave something to the team effort.

"When you think back on your career, the most special days have probably been at Thomond Park in front of a full house in the Heineken Cup where everyone is up for it. We'll relish this weekend and hopefully it will be another one of those occasions you'll remember when you retire."

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