Jamie Heaslip training at Carton House today.
Jamie Heaslip is delighted to be back in the starting XV for this weekend’s RBS Six Nations encounter with Wales after what he admitted was a “bloody sore” back injury.
The Leinster flanker is the only change made by Joe Schmidt to the team before the crucial Millennium Stadium encounter.
“It’s great (to be back),” Heaslip said today after the team announcement. “It’s not the easiest thing to stand on the sidelines.
“It’s great to get the opportunity to wear the jersey again on Saturday.”
Heaslip didn’t immediately appreciate the extent of the injury when he was kneed in the back by Papiss Cisse during Ireland’s win against France.
Jamie Heaslip leaving the field after receiving a knee to the back against France.
“I just thought it was bloody sore!” he said. “I kinda strangely heard Joe in my head screaming at me to get up.
“I didn’t know if it was a knee or a shoulder or whatever. I tried to get on with it but it stiffened up and I had to come off.”
Heaslip admitted he did not make a good patient while recuperating: “I was being held on a leash a little bit, probably for my own good”.
“I’m a stubborn git, Joe knows that better than anyone,” he continued “I want to live life at 100 miles an hour and sometimes that’s not the smartest thing to do.
“All the medical staff and backroom staff were great and helped me get back on my own two feet.”
Listen to Jamie Heaslip and Joe Schmidt at today's team announcement.
Heaslip was asked about suggestions from some commentators in the wake of the France game that he might not play any further part in the Championship.
“I don’t personally listen to outside sources,” he replied. “I listen to my trusted medical team and they gave me very, very good guidance.”
The 31-year-old said he had left the planning to the medical team and just worked to fulfil his part in the recovery one day at a time.
“I live in a little bubble day-to-day and week-to-week, it makes it very easy for me not to think too far down the line,” he said. “With an injury you kinda have to go day-by-day. And every day I was getting really good and progressing really well.
“We mapped out a really good, clear plan in terms of ticking the boxes that I had to tick for the recovery protocol. I ticked them along the way and I’m good to go.”
Listen to Breakingnews.ie head sports reporter Shaun Cronin discuss Saturday’s game with Irish Examiner rugby correspondant Simon Lewis.