Donncha O'Callaghan
Colm & Ger MacSweeney with Peter Stringer and Donncha O'Callaghan at the Grand Slam book signing.
Billy Stickland
O'Callaghan Rarin to Go
9 September 2009, 9:23 am
Donncha O'Callaghan makes a return to action for Munster in the game at the weekend against second placed Dragons with the Corkman named on a replacement bench that includes newestcomer Jean de Villiers.
And both the promise of action and the opportunity to play alongside one of the greats of world rugby is something that appeals 'bigtime' to O'Callaghan.

"I can't wait to get back into it. I'm no use watching games. I just love to be playing." he said after training in UL this morning. "I understand the thinking in keeping us (internationals) out of it for the opening rounds. And it works to our benefit. It's a long season what with internationals and that but still I'd be in there from the start if I could."

The long season just past doesn't seem to have robbed O'Callaghan of any of his energy level, the exposure to different coaches working he believes in his favour. "Last year we went from being with Deccie back to the Munster set up with Tony McGahan and after that in most seasons it might have been a case of back to the international scene and a tour abroad. In that case there'd be a sameness but this summer it was different in that I was away with the Lions, a totally different atmosphere and an opportunity to test myself in a different environment. I enjoyed every minute of it and when you're doing that it's no bother."

And now he is joined in the Munster squad by Jean de Villiers and once again O'Callaghan is prepared to adopt to student role. "I think it's great that aplayer like him has come into our squad. He is right up there with the best there is and his knowledge of the game extends right across the park. So of course we are going to learn from him and benefit from his experience on and off the field."

Like de Villers, O'Callaghan will start from the bench of what is a strong squad and one that will be needed if Munster are to win. " They've (Dragons) started really well and what I've seen from their tapes they're a much more confident outfit this season. This is certainly their best start but they've always been a hard side to play against. Good physical side up front and well able to spread the ball. I think they are going to be a very difficult side to play against but with a full Musgrave Park roaring us on it will be a full-on game.

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