One man more than most who hopes that Munster’s Magners League game against the Scarlets goes ahead is flanker Alan Quinlan who missed out last weekend against Ulster due to injury.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Scarlets, Alan Quinlan said: “I am champing at the bit to get going again. The next few weeks will define our season and I want to be a part of it.”
Quinlan explained that Munster had a very positive result against Connacht and while they were disappointed to lose to Ulster last week, there were also some positives to be taken from that game.
“If we get good results in our next few games it will set us up nicely for the business end of the season.
“The momentum is building in the squad. We are training really well and the performance against Perpignan before Christmas showed that we are capable of playing well.”
But he stressed that the impressive bonus point win over the French champions, which put them out of this season’s Heineken Cup, will ‘count for nothing’ unless they follow up with wins against Treviso and Northampton in the coming weeks.
“It is now a two horse race between ourselves and Northampton to top the pool but we also want to qualify for the play-offs in the Magners League and that makes Sunday’s game very important for us.”
Asked about the injury sustained by his fellow Tipperary man, Denis Leamy, Quinlan said: “Our hearts go out to Denis. It was a disappointing and difficult injury for him to suffer and all the more so that it happened in the last phase of play in a game in which he shone.
“Against Perpignan, it was one of his best performances in a long, long time. He is an international quality player and any team who suffers the loss of such a player is bound to feel the loss.
“His influence in the team is massive. He doesn’t talk a lot but his actions do the talking for him.
“We were all delighted for him that he produced such a fantastic performance against Perpignan. His loss is huge but we have to adapt now and somebody else is going to get his chance.
“Denis was very down about it and our hearts go out to him. We took a few steps forwards that day and Denis was a big influence.
“But knowing him as I do, I believe he will come back from the injury. He is still a young man and has a huge amount to offer,” he added.
And Quinlan revealed that Leamy had a problem with a knee injury sustained more than 14 months ago.
“People questioned his performances on and off since then but obviously the knee injury had an impact on some of his performances.
“He will now have a chance to also allow the knee to come right and he will be back next season as a massive player for us and for Ireland. It is important for us to go on and win something for Denis.”