There was an added bounce in the step of Munster players in the High-Performance Unit at UL this week after Niall Scannell’s outstanding debut for Ireland against Italy at the weekend.
And happiest (after brother Rory, of course) may have been Dolphin clubmate Dave O’Callaghan.
“It’s brilliant to see Niall kick on like that,” said the Youghal native. “He’s had to work hard to get where he’s got to. Not so long ago he was way back the pecking order and I think it’s a credit to him and how hard he’s worked to get to where he is.
“Very definitely, he’s an example for the rest of us.
“You see the guys who have got into the squad off the back of us going well this season and a few more knocking on the door like Rory Scannell. John Ryan’s in now as well and those guys made it on how we’ve been playing this season.
“Of course, it gives you a lift and it shows that things can change overnight and you just have to concentrate on your own job.
“For me, it’s obviously getting game-time while the lads are away and putting my case forward for selection. You could be involved in national camps and that’s the goal for all of us.”
O’Callaghan has been dogged by injury but now that he has figured for the full 80 minutes in the wins over Edinburgh and Dragons, it’s a case of putting his hand up against Ospreys on Saturday.
“I hadn’t played in a long time. I’ve obviously been a bit rusty but there is a lot of freshness. You’re bursting to play and you have a lot of energy. Our squad depth shows that guys who come in can play and academy guys are all singing off the same hymn sheet.
“I played this fixture against the Ospreys last season. We just won at the death and that’s how it’s going to be again. You won’t get anything easy over there. They play much like the way we play, an expansive game. It’s a big thing for us to make sure we have the spacing in our defensive line and everyone’s good there.”
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