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Alan Quinlan seen here with Rua Tipoki has a lot to smile about
Quinlan Delight
10 October 2008, 8:31 am
Alan Quinlan's return to the Munster starting line-up couldn't come at a better time with Thomond Park re-opening its doors tomorrow night and Declan Kidney soon to announce his squad for the autumn internationals.
Before last Sunday's outing as a replacement against Leinster, the man from the Junction hadn't been in Munster colours since that unforgettable day in May when he played such a huge part in Munster's win over Toulouse. A groin injury kept him sidelined on Ireland's tour Down Under but having come through the Leinster test with flying colours Quinlan is now champing at the bit for game time.

"Its always frustrating, not just for me, for any of us, when we're recovering from injury, looking on from the stands. I suppose I've had my share of injury but it's a question of putting it behind you and not let it get you down," he said today. "Last Sunday went great from that point of view and I felt grand after so I'm delighted to be getting a start tomorrow particularly when you see how well the lads are going."

He's in the side ahead of a fellow Tipp man and obviously aware that Donnacha Ryan is widely touted as his successor, "Donnacha is a fine player, a sound Tipp fella and I think he's going to have a big future in the game. Hopefully I'll be part of that future in playing terms for a while to come, I'm certainly not ready to move aside yet. But that's the nature of things isn't it ? The great thing from a Munster point of view is there are a few more there as well so there's plenty of fellas snapping at our heels for places."

Looking forward to the re-opening of Thomond Park, Quinlan is impressed by the new stadium, "Ah you couldn't but be. Its a smashing stadium and fair play to the stadium committee, to Hegarty's, to Garrett Fitzgerald, Pat Whelan, and all who were involved in driving it on, bringing it in on time. When you consider the size of the job, the weather we've had the past year, it's a fabulous achievement when you think about it." Quinlan said.

There has been a buzz around Limerick these past few months as the Stands rose Phoenix-like from the rubble and the past few weeks the opening night has been eagerly anticipated as Quinlan is only too well aware, "That's what all the talk has been about, the opening of the new stadium. I know the official one isn't until November but people can't wait for tomorrow night. From the team's point of view we need to divorce ourselves to some extent from that. I know we have to enjoy the occasion, of course we do, but we have an important game to play and a responsibility.

"We've made a good start to the season. But that's all we've done. As the old cliche goes there are no trophies handed out in October. We are also mindful of our recent record against Glasgow and that hasn't been good to say the least. We need to address that.

"So being totally honest about it, what tomorrow is all about for me and for the team, is the 80 minutes plus whatever of the match itself and the Magners League points that are on offer."

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