Jack O’Donoghue’s injury-hit 2018-19 season cost the back-rower a piece of Munster history but the 25-year-old could not be more happy for the team-mate who became the province’s youngest player to reach 100 caps instead.
Centre Rory Scannell is in the record books having reached his century of Munster appearances at the age of 25 years, 2 months, and 11 days when he lined out against Scarlets on March 2.
Had a serious knee injury not sidelined O’Donoghue for nine months last season, the Waterford forward may well have beaten his friend to the accolade.
Instead, he made his 100th Munster appearance on May 18 in the PRO14 semi-final against Leinster at the RDS, aged 25 years, 3 months, and 10 days.
“He beat me but not by much,” O’Donoghue said. “The way we aged up but both of us came through at a similar time.
"We played 20s and age-grade rugby with Munster together so we’ve come up through the ranks and he’s an incredible warrior for the team.
“I think last weekend was his 30th consecutive start in Europe, which is amazing.
"The engine he has, I think he has the highest minutes played for Munster for the last two or three seasons and he’s just an incredible athlete, his ability to recover and go again the following week, the hits he puts in and gets, it’s certainly not an easy task in midfield with lads who run down his channel but he fronts up week in, week out.
"I think he was really unlucky not be in the World Cup mix.
“There’s great centres in Ireland but he has the ability to play 10 as well and the left-leg option, we’re always grateful of.”