Since making his Munster debut in November 1996 against Western Samoa at Musgrave Park it took the current Tipperary Man of the Year almost nine years to accumulate his first 100 caps (v Cardiff in the Celtic League game at The Arms Park) and five to complete the second century.
What's kept him at the top of his profession, according to his friend and long-time playing partner Mick Galwey - the first player to win 100 Munster caps - is his passion for the jersey. " I remember him when he won his first cap, his first few caps, his first Heineken Cup start. They all meant so much to him and even to this day I can still see that putting on the Munster jersey means so much to Alan."
Meanwhile, good news for Munster is that Lifeimi Mafi is set to return to action for the first time since undergoing a shoulder operation in the close season. Mafi will turn out for Munster in the A Interprovincial in Nenagh RFC on Friday night.
Other positive news to come out of yesterday's training session in Thomond Park Stadium came in the form of David Wallace who was back training and although Keith Earls was present but didn't take part, management are hopeful he could be back in time for the Heineken Cup opening rounds.
Munster: D Hurley, F Jones, S Deasy, I Dowling, D Howlett, D Barnes, J Murphy, S Tuitupou, R O'Gara, P Warwick, D Williams, P Stringer, T O'Leary. W du Preez, M Horan, D Varley, D Fogarty, J Hayes, T Buckley, D O'Callaghan, B Holland, D Ryan, M O'Driscoll, I Nagle, A Quinlan, N Ronan, D Leamy, T O'Donnell, P O'Mahony.