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O'Callaghan's Support Donncha
10 October 2004, 9:31 am
Recalled for his first game in the Munster shirt since playing against Connacht in the Celtic League at the end of last season, Munster lock Donncha O'Callaghan looks forward to Sunday's game.
Recalled for his first game in the Munster shirt since playing against Connacht in the Celtic League at the end of last season, Munster lock Donncha O'Callaghan looks forward to Sunday's game against The Ospreys and reflects on what has been a frustrating time for him.

"Of course I'm delighted to be back in the side and I honestly didn't know if the Gaffer would go with myself or Trevor (Hogan) when he selected the side. It was tough on Trevor but in fairness to him he was the first up to me afterwards to say well done.The leg is grand now, I even thought I might be ok for last week's game but I'm glad I didn't rush it."

"It has been a frustrating start to the season for me. I was involved in the 10 week pre-season national training and was really looking forward to getting back playing when I was selected for the Llanelli game at the start of October. Then i tore the calf and ended up on the sidelines - Again.

I mean it's hard enough being on the bench, at least you've a chance of getting on and doing something but when you're sidelined with injury it is difficult. Besides, you have a player like Trevor playing out of his skin while you're looking on and you're wondering like will I get the chance to push him for the place or will it be a case of just picking up woodworm sitting on the bench !"

Named in Eddie O'Sullivan's first squad of the international season with the proviso that he must prove his fitness, O'Callaghan refuses to be distracted by the green haze. " First and foremost right now is Munster and the game on Sunday, I'm not thinking any further than Sunday.

My job is to get in there and help Paulie, do my bit for the pack, for the team. Sunday is not about Ireland, Sunday is all about Munster. I think if I can do what is expected of me at the Gnoll then I'll be happy enough and what follows, follows."

And what sort of a challenge can O'Callaghan and Munster expect on Sunday ? "Simply massive challenge, " O'Callaghan asserts. " I haven't played against them this year - well I haven't played against anyone like - but I have watched videos of several of their games. And even though they were beaten in France last week, they looked a fair handy side.

They hadn't been beaten up to then and playing at The Gnoll makes them an even tougher proposition. They have a strong tough mobile pack and loads of pace in the backs so this will be as tough a game as we'll play".

Despite the long lay off, he does not feel fitness will be an issue. "Not at all. I've worked hard with the fitness boys, Damien (Mednis) and Aiden O'Connell and the squad sessions under Gaffer and Brian (Hickey) have been good too.

Sure I'm the freshest fella in the squad, why wouldn't I be, being doing nothing while the rest of them have been bet up and down the field in the past weeks. No, seriously, I'm in good shape and really looking forward getting back into the swing of things. Just can't wait for Sunday."

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