Sean Dougall has trod the Exiles path to his current position with Munster, showing determination to overcome an injury that interrupted his career early on.
Sean Dougall, the 22-year-old openside flanker, came out of that famous English rugby academy, Barnard Castle School.
He was capped by Ireland at Under-18 and Under-19 levels, and signed a contract with the Ulster Academy. He seemed to have the world at his feet. Then injuries struck.
For two seasons Dougall battled with a recurrence of a dislocated shoulder, while making the odd appearance for Ulster Ravens,
A move to Rotherham Titans, who offered him the chance to resurrect his career while completing his degree, revived his professional ambitions.
Two successful seasons in the English Championship ensued, whereupon Munster offered Dougall the opportunity to return to Ireland.
The young forward has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and recently made his debut in the Heineken Cup against Racing Metro 92.
This was his fifth appearance for Munster and – as a bonus – he scored his first try for them. His second appearance in the tournament against Edinburgh yielded a win for Munster and another try.
Dougall is one of many players to have come through the Exiles pathway to represent Ireland or win a professional contract and we hope there are many more like him to come. Could he one day follow in the footsteps of fellow flanker and Exile Simon Easterby?