O’Donnell accepts missing World Cup

Date published: December 30 2015

Tommy O'Donnell has plenty of perspective after battling his way back from a hip dislocation to play for Munster last weekend.

O'Donnell was injured in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match between Ireland and Wales in Cardiff when he looked certain to be selected for the tournament.

Now back on the field, O'Donnell knows that while the timing of the injury was cruel, the situation could be a lot worse.

“Say, I finished rugby and was left with a bad hip — there’s a lot worse things in life, so I was very happy to get back playing, and that’s why it was easy to deal with it mentally,” O'Donnell told the Irish Examiner.

“The relief is going to be huge when you’re potentially facing a career-ending injury. So it’s very easy to say ‘okay, I missed out on the World Cup, but I’m still going to be able to play rugby. I’m still going to be able to walk around.’”

Despite his injury there was no stopping Munster signing up O'Donnell to a three-year contract extension at the start of the December.

O'Donnell added: “It’s been my run of bad luck that I’ve been injured when negotiating contracts. But it was a vote of confidence for me in Munster and for Munster in me, to get it done. I’m very happy to have it renewed and with the deal we came to and I’m looking forward to the three years."

Should all go smoothly then O'Donnell will be in contention for Ireland ahead of the Six Nations, although his immediate focus is on getting more minutes under his belt.

“In my head, I’m focusing on returning to play. I’ve only played 20 minutes, so I haven’t even really thought about Irish camp.

“I’ve not had a huge amount of contact with Joe. I met him here one day and he was delighted to hear things were going well. I probably shouldn’t have an involvement, I need to play games, I need to prove myself again.”