Unlucky Cullen may be staying

CHRISTIAN CULLEN, ruled out for the Heineken Cup final, may have his contract renewed for another season.

The unfortunate Cullen has been dogged with shoulder, hamstring and ankle injuries and there is huge sympathy for his plight within the squad.

Coach Declan Kidney said: “It’s hard to imagine how unlucky he has been. You see him in the gym two and three times a day doing his rehab sessions, and then for something else to turn up is one of the cruel sides of sport. He has worked so hard to get over the injuries, and to pick one up when he was coming to the end of 80 minutes against Ospreys was unfortunate for him and the squad as a whole.”

Kidney declined to comment on the possibility of a new contract being offered to the former All Black.

He said: “If I had to pass the comment on one person, I would have to comment on all contracts. I know what I would like to do, but I would have to discuss that with the player first and foremost.”

Insiders suggest that Cullen is anxious to stay in Ireland. One squad member yesterday expressed the view that Cullen undoubtedly had a huge amount to offer the team. He said: “We will have to wait and see, but this litany of injury blows won’t continue for ever. He has been horribly unlucky, but his luck will turn for the better.”

Munster Squad (26)

Backs: S. Payne, I. Dowling, A. Horgan, M. Lawlor, R. Henderson, T. Halstead, J. Kelly, R. O’Gara, P. Stringer, J. Manning, T. O’Leary.

Forwards: E. McGovern, M. Horan, J. Flannery, J. Hayes, F. Puciariello, D. Fogarty, T. Hogan, M. O’Driscoll, P. O’Connell, D. O’Callaghan, A. Quinlan, S. Keogh, D. Leamy, D. Wallace, A. Foley (captain).

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