Colm Kinsella talks to Munster’s Denis Leamy as he looks forward to getting back on the field of play
FOR Denis Leamy, it was both the best of times and, to some extent, the worst of times. The Munster number eight made four appearances for Ireland in the Rugby World Cup, but his gametime was limited to a total of 65 minutes.
While Declan Kidney’s side, inspired by a formidable back-row, powered their way into the quarter-finals, the 29-year-old’s impact was limited.
But while disappointed by his limited gametime in New Zealand, Leamy is keen to stress just how enjoy the experience of being involved in the World Cup was.
“Personally, I am looking forward to playing a bit of rugby with Munster,” he said this week.
“The World Cup didn’t go the way I planned. I certainly would have liked to have started a game and probably liked to have had more of an influence on what took place. But you have to accept the decisions of management. That is the way it was.
“It is difficult to come on for two or three minutes, try and get into a game and make a mark. It was disappointing for me personally. But you have to accept when the team is doing well and the decisions of coaches. Certainly, I am looking forward to getting a game over the next couple of weeks and showing what I can do.
“We were in New Zealand about three days and someone remarked that already it was a better trip than four years earlier in France. I think a lot of lessons were learned from 2007. They were painful lessons for many of us involved. Travelling around New Zealand to the different cities it felt more like a tour than being based in one city as we were in Bordeaux four years earlier. It freshened up everything. The core player group got on extremely well. There were no cliques and that showed on the pitch. It was a very enjoyable time in our rugby careers.”
On Friday, Munster begin a mammoth schedule of 13 games in as many weeks which will go a long way towards determining their RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup seasons. Following this week’s clash with Aironi in the PRO12, there is a crunch tie with arch rivals Leinster at the Aviva Stadium, before Munster begin their Heineken Cup pool campaign at home to Northampton on November 12. The hectic schedule provides a major challenge, but one Leamy, who turns 30 on November 27, is looking forward to.
“I am looking forward to the next 13 weeks. It will be difficult, but we will look to enjoy it,” he added.
“I am definitely ready to go straight away. We don’t have much time. We are only a couple of weeks away from the Heineken Cup. I think it is important for individuals to lay down markers to be in the team. There are a lot of places up for grabs.
“We are not looking beyond Friday’s game with Aironi. We have to get our calls and structures right. That only comes with playing games.
“We are lucky to have two very tough games ahead of the start of the Heineken Cup. They will get us battle hardened. That is the way you would want it, definitely. We have had long seasons before. In this day and age, when you are playing internationally, you are used to playing 10 months of the year. It’s a marathon rather than a sprint. In Ireland, to be fair, we are managed very well, in that guys are rested at appropriate times. They are used sparingly enough, but it is a long season.”