12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
"Seemingly, we have at least started to capture the interest of most of our journalistic colleagues although the odd cynical scribe still seems to rejoice in writing repetitive and negative column inches, which I for one am sure that the rugby public got thoroughly sick of reading some years ago. As the usual pre-season previews were written, predictions were in abundance. I'm pretty sure that the prediction which saw Munster take both the League and the Cup titles to be somewhat discourteous to a number of other teams and that the reality is that this season will see some real roller coaster action as the form of each team ebbs and flows throughout the nine months.
"I am delighted to be able to say that in all honesty I think that almost any of the twelve teams could take the title and I believe that this coming weekend of action will prove my point. Munster will do well to beat a very capable Llanelli Scarlets even at Thomond Park and the Celtic Warriors will not have an easy time against their visitors the Leinster Lions. Nor will Glasgow Rugby enjoy their trip to Ulster too much. But from where I sit that is exactly what the paying public expect and deserve, full on, highly competitive action from start to finish.
"So spread the word, build the drum beat to a frenzy, come Friday night about seven, we'll all be enjoying more of the same; Another weekend of rugby action which all three nations can be proud of. Watch out England, with this as the backbone to our domestic game I guarantee that the current English dominance of the International game won't last too much longer and by the 2007 World Cup who knows we might have a Celtic Favourite for the Big One.
"The Celtic game has got it's structure right, at each club, the whole squad are getting their own chance to impress and the accompanying pressure on performance and places will simply build and build. Onward and Upward, let the cynics crow loud and crow now, for we are poised to enjoy the last laugh. as finally we really are together and getting it together; Celtic Rugby is on the up!!
"Roll on Friday, let the battle continue."